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FROM 1777 TO 1784; 


FROM 1784 TO 178B: 


FROM 1788 TO 1780; 


FROM 1790 TO 1796: 


FROM 17S6 TO 1800. 

J. G. M. RAMSEY, A.M., M.D. 








Eotmdi fteeoidinff to Aet of Confiai, in tke fmt IttS. bf 
J. O. M. RAMBET. M.D. 
iBtho Clork'f OiBco oTtlwDiilrietGoiBtortlw United 8catcs,fotlitEafla«I)atriet of Tc 


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wHoai immPEXis tuBDun an Doii^iir, ahd WBoei valovx DBrBin»iD rr. 

MOST oratsfullt; 



MOST dutifully; 







MOST confidentlt; 


Your fathbri icch ez ample oatb. 
And icch reverb!*' 

blUi Volome Dedicated, bp thdr fdlow^tina* 


CBarlebtob, 8. C, FebntBrp 89d, 1861. 


Thb writer is one of the first-born of the sons of the State of Ten- 
nessee. If this seniority brings with it none of the rights of primoge- 
niture, it certainly has imposed the duty of filial veneration and r^;ard 
for the land of his nativity. With this devotion to his State, and to its 
worthy pioneers, has always been united the deep regret, that their 
early history has been so little known, and is now almost forgotten. 
Oppressed by this feeling, and impelled by the desire to revive and pre- 
serve the knowledge of past events in Tennessee, he determined, many 
years since, td collect such incidents of her history as were within his 
reach. At first, his object was merely to occupy, in these researches^ 
the leisure hours which could be spared from professional engagements; 
but he soon discovered, that by extending his labours, he might add to 
his own pleasure, the high gratification of contributing something, how- 
ever humble, to the historical literature of the day, and thus do a ser- 
vice, at least, to the people of his own State. 

For the collection of the materials of such a work, he has had some 
peculiar facilities. His boyhood and his youth were spent with the 
pioneer and the emigrant Later in life, he has not been without some 
share of intercourse, with the public men and principal actors in the 
early settlement of the country. His opportunity of conferring with 
many of them, has not been infrequent, and has been sedulously im- 
proved. He became, whilst yet a young man, the possessor of the 
journal and papers of his deceased father, the late Col. F. A. Ramsey — 
a pioneer of the country, whose life was identified with its interests, at 
every period of its growth, up to the time of his death, in 1820. He 
has, since, become the depositary of the papers of Sevier, of Shelby, 


the Blounts, and other public men. His position as Corresponding Sec- 
retary of the East Tennessee Historical and Antiquarian Society, has given 
him the advantage of its collections and correspondence. In addition to 
these sources of valuable information^ he has availed himself of others. 
The records of all the old Franklin Counties have been patiently ex- 
amined by him. He has also visited the Capitals of Georgia, North- 
Carolina, and Virginia, and, by the courtesy of Governor Towns, Go- 
vernor Reed, and Governor Fioyd, of these States, has been allowed free 
access to the Public Archives at Milledgeville, Raleigh, and Richmond, 
from which has been procured, all that they contain on the subjects of 
his research. The Archives of Tennessee, preserved in the office at 
tbe Secretary of State at Nashville, he has also examined. Private 
and public libraries, the offices at Washington, and the periodical jour- 
nals of the day — all sources, within the writer's reach, likely to contri- 
Imte to his purpose, and add to the perfection of his work, have 
been carefully examined and culled from. 

Haywood's History of Tennessee is the authority for many events 
detailed herein. In several instances, corrections and additions, impor- 
tant and valuable, have been made. 

In the narratives — ^verbal and written — of the old soldiers and pio- 
neers, and in the matter furnished by authors, correspondents, and 
pnUic documents, the language of the original narrator b often re- 
tained, though his statements are very much abridged and condensed. 
The usual marks of quotation have not, therefore, been always given. 

On some of the subjects of the volume, the writer may be charged 
with unnecessary prolixity. He has not felt at liberty to withhold the 
minuUae of some of the topics, now published for the first time. The 
perishable condition in which they are found, in old and nearly illegible 
manuscriptB, exposes ihem to an early destruction. 

The biography of General Robertson and General Joseph Martin 
would have been more minutely given, but that their private files had 
been placed in the hands of L. C. Draper, Esq., of Wisconsin. This 
is the less to be regretted, as that competent writer has promised, in 
ad4ition to the Uves of those Tennessee pioneers, those of many Westr 
em adventdrera, which cannot fail to make a valuable contribution to 


the biograplfioal literature of the West. He has been indefatigable in 
the procurement of material for such a work. Its publication may be 
expected within the next year. 

He space devoted in this volume, to that section of Tennessee east 
of Cumberland Mountain, will not be considered disproportionate, wheo 
it is recollected, that it had a priority of ten years in its settlement; 
that in it were conducted the more important negotiations and treaties 
with the Indians ; and that the scenes of the Revolution — as participated 
in by the Western soldiery — the Franklin Revolt and Administration ; 
the Organization of the Territorial Government, and that of the State 
of Tennessee, all occurred within its limits. 

Thus much as to the plan and materials of the work, and the soureea 
from which they have been drawn. As to the manner of it, the writer 
only further adds, that, earlier in life, it had been his ambition and hit 
design, to have made it, not only more creditable to himself, but, whieh 
he deeired much more, worthier of Tennessee and her patriotic and 
chivalrous sons. In the vain hope, and under the fond illusion, that 
some future day would allow him the necessary leisure to do so, he ha§ 
postponed the preparation of these sheets several years. The pressure 
of other engagements — some of them in the service of Tennessee — 
some, more private, but not less imperative — has dispelled the youth- 
ful illusion, that, after his half century was passed, life would be without 
care or active employment, and has brought with it the conviction, that, 
if his work shall be published at all, it must be done in its present 
shape — written always eurrente calamo — at intervals of time, snatched 
from the continued succession of professional and public duties, and 
with little opportunity to revise or perfect it. In that condition, and 
under these circumstances, the volume now goes to press. Scarcely 
has a single page been re- written. 

Many of the Sevier papers, and all those of Governor Willie Blount^ 
being in the writer's possession, should the public voice seem to de^nand 
a continuation of these Annals, to a more recent period, the materials 
being on hand, or wihin reach, a second volume will be prepared. 
The administration of Governor Blount, covering the period of the 
Creek War, and that of 1812, with England, is an exceedingly interest- 


ing period in the Annak of the Yoliuiteer State. Since that timef the 
hiatoiy of Tennessee has continued to be equally important, and is 
now national and fully identified with the history of the United States. 

The writer cannot omit this opportunity of returning his thanks to 
such of his correspondents, in Tennessee and elsewhere, as have not 
been spedfically mentioned in the volume, for their assbtance in col- 
lecting and furnishing material for the work. 

The Hon. Mitchell King, during the publication of the volume, has 
politely opened to the writer^s use his large library and extensive col- 
lection of maps. Professor Dickson, of the Medical College gf South- 
Carolina, and an honourary member of the East Tennessee Historical 
and Antiquarian Society, has, heretofore, presented to its collections 
several valuable works on the history »of his State, and her early wars 
with the Indians of the interior. Both of these gentlemen have, from 
the first conception of this undertaking, given to the writer, under 
many and great discouragements, their friendly advice and countenance. 
To each of them, and to the members and officers of the Charleston 
Library, to whose privileges he was politely introduced, the writer begs 
here to make his acknowledgments. 

The size of this volume has excluded much that had been intended 
for the Appendix. 

Consdous, as he is, of the imperfections of his performance, the 
writer persuades himself, that he has rendered some acceptable service 
to Tennessee, in his attempt, thus, to perpetuate her Annals, and illus- 
trate the actions of her people. Consoled with this reflection, he con- 
fides it to his countrymen. 

-^* 8i qiiid novisti rectioB istis 

Candidas imperii ; si dod, his atere mecam.^ 


Mecklenbxtsg, \ 

Kcsr Knoxrille, Tenn., Nov. 16, 1863. ) 


When Columbus, in the name of their Catholic mcgestieSy 
took formal possession of San Salvador, the natives of that 
island stood around and gazed upon the strange ceremony in 
silent admiration. A feeling, somewhat dissimilar, but scarcely 
less intense, would be excited in the bosom of an aboriginal 
inhabitant of Tennessee, could he now revisit this theatre of 
his nation's existence. Could he stand upon an eminence, 
near the ancient capital of the state, and survey the scenes 
now presented to his view, he would notice with surprise the 
magic changes effected in this land of his fathers. The soli- 
tude of his native forest has given place to the industry and 
enterprise of a strange people ; its silence is dissipated by the 
hum of business, and its quiet disturbed by the incessant toil 
and the active pursuits of civilized life. The ancient woods 
have been felled, and the wilderness converted to the purposes 
of agriculture. A town has risen up, as if by enchantment, 
presenting to his astonished view the evidences which sur* 
round him, of wealth, of commerce, of learning and the arts. 
Associating the awakened recollections of his boyhood with 
the transmutation before him, he would withdraw from the 
unwelcome contreust, and, chagrined and sorrowful, seek else- 
where some solace to his wounded spirit. Repairing to the 
place where once stood the wigwam of his father,Hie finds 
erected over it the stately mansion of the white man. He 
recollects to have seen his chieftain recording his victories 
upon a tree, or perpetuating the annals of his tribe in rude 
hieroglyphics upon the mountain granite. These vestiges, 

* Much of thiB Introdaction is taken from the " Address" delivered hj this writer 
at the organizatioii of the " East Teonessee Historical and Antiquanan Sodety." 




too, have disappeared. The war-paths of his ancestors hav& 
been converted into the channels of a gainful commerce ; in 
the place of their extinguished council fires, are seen the 
courts of justice ; and amidst the ruins of their Pagan tem- 
ples, churches, consecrated to the worship of the true God, 
elevate their spires in the direction of the Christianas hope — 
to heaven. 

This sudden transition from barbarism and rudeness to 
civilization and refinement, it is the business of history to ex- 
amine, investigate and record. Labouring in this extended 
field, the curious student will be carried back to that period 
when the ** great West " was 

<* A Bolitade of yast extent, xmtoQched 

By hand of art ; where nature sow'd herael( 

And reap'd her crops ;" 

when, as yet, no Anglo-American had penetrated the dark 
recesses of the Alleghany, or explored the unknown wilds 
now embraced within the limits of Tennessee. He will be 
led to analyze the first promptings of that spirit of adventure 
which incited the pioneers of the country to leave their homes 
of peace, safety and comfort, to endure the toils and priva- 
tions of a mountain desert, to brave the dangers of an un- 
known wilderness, and to disregard the perils attending the 
formation of a remote and feeble settlement upon the bor- 
ders of numerous and warlike tribes, jealous of their ap- 
proach, and determined to resist it. Extending his researches, 
he will find that no section of the United States has fur- 
nished more of interesting and attractive incident, than is 
presented from a review of the first exploration and settle- 
ment of Tennessee. The tales of romance are scarcely equal 
to the patient perseverance, enterprise and hardihood, the 
daring heroism and chivalrous adventure, of its inhabitants. 
Savage barbarity drenched the frontier with the blood of the 
first emigrants, and the hardy soldier, alike with the helples < 
female and the child, became victims to the scalping knife 
and the tomahawk of the Indian. The industrious husband- 
man derived no immunity from the common danger, in his 
peaceful pursuits, but found a grave where he hoped to gather 
a harvest ; and the secluded and quiet cabin, lighted by 


savage incendiaries, became the funeral pile of its occupants. 
Every valley became the avenue of Indian aggression, and 
every mountain a lurking place for the merciless Cherokee^ 
Nothing intimidated by these circumstances, the constant 
attendants of the pioneers of the wilderness, they became, in 
their turn, the invaders ; and on the rugged banks of the Ken- 
hawa, in the wilds of Cumberland and on the plains of Goosey 
we hear of their daring adventure, their prowess and their 

But the proudest recollections are awakened, when we re« 
cur to the part taken by the infant settlements on Holston, 
Watauga, and NoUichuckee, in that '^ perilous conflict that 
tried men's souls," and at its darkest period, when the confi- 
dence of the firmest friends of independence was shaken, 
when British valour attd the treachery of the disafiected in the 
South had given an ascendency to the royal army, and 
threatened an easy conquest of other sections of the Confede- 
racy. South-Carolina was scarcely longer considered an 
American state, but a subdued British colony ; — ^her lion- 
hearted and invincible whigs, indignant but not dispirited, 
retiring before the invading enemy, had sought an asylum 
in the frontier of the West. It was at this crisis the pioneers 
of Tennessee — though by their remote and insulated position 
secure from foreign invasion, and exposed at home to the. 
cruelties of a savage foe — evinced their devotion to the cause 
of their country and of freedom. At this crisis, western patri- 
otism projected the most daring expedition, and western va- 
lour achieved the brightest victory, which adorn the page of 
our revolutionary history. Free as the air of their mountainSi^ 
and indignant that the land of freemen should be polluted by 
the footsteps of an invader, the patriots of the West flew, 
uninvited, to the rescue of their bleeding country — ascending 
the Alleghany, and precipitating themselves from its summit^ 
they overwhelmed the enemy with discomfiture and death. 

The early civil and political history of Tennessee presents, 
also, a fruitful and interesting subject of investigation. A 
feeble and remote settlement of hunters, herdsmen and small 
farmers — dissociated from Virginia and North-Carolina by 
the intervention of a desert mountain, not embraced within 

4' nrrEODuCTioK. 

the ascertained boundaries, and beyond the reach of the jii'^ 
risdiction of either province, without its laws, its courts and 
its protection — ^this primitive, simple and virtuous commu'' 
nity, formed a civil and military organization adapted to 
their peculiar condition, and, under the unpretending name 
of the Watauga Association, laid the foundation of the future 
Tennessee. Assuming for themselves the name of Washino- 
Tov District — ^the first thus entitled to the credit of doing this 
honour to the father of his country — at the dawn of Ameri- 
can independence these pioneers of the West applied to the 
Council of North-Carolina to be annexed to that province. 
They give as reasons, in support of their application, that 
''they had already oi|;anized their militia, and Were willing 
to become a party in the existing war, acknowledging 
themselves indebted to the American colonies their full pro- 
portion of the Continental expense, and pledging their deter- 
mination to adhere ** to the glorious cause in which we are 
now struggling, and to contribute to the welfare of our own 
or of ages yet to come." This pledge was most nobly 
redeemed, — ^the revolution was effected, and independence 

Become thus a colonial appendage of North-Carolina, 
eonsisting of intrepid adventurers from every section of the 
country, and bound together by no principles of union but a 
sense of common danger, they were ceded by the mother state, 
soon after, to the Congress of the Confederacy, and thu s 
reduced to a condition of political orphanage. Struggling 
with the difficulties attendant on such a state, its onward 
march may be traced, with much interest and curiosity, 
through the period of its existence as the State of Franklin. 
This incipient effort of the western people to exercise the 
" divine right ** of self-government — this first combination of 
the discordant materials, of which the trans-montane com- 
munity then consisted — their crude and immature legislation, 
the disorder and tumult which resulted, their return to 
their former allegiance, and the overthrow of the new com- 
monwealth, — ^are all fruitful themes of research and enquiry. 
From the investigation of these, the philosophic historian will 
be ftumished with irrefragable proofs of the adequacy of the 


people, under the most unfavourable circumstances, to gov- 
ern themselves, and will be enabled to trace the important 
bearing these unhappy commotions had upon great national 
interests, till then not perceived in their true light. 

Peace, order and law, succeeding to tumult, and chaoBy 
and violence, the character of the partizan became merged 
in that of the citizen and patriot ; and throughout the subse- 
quent stages of political organization, whether as a territory 
of the United States, or as one of the independent sovereign- 
ties constituting the American Union, we are proud to find 
the impress of the valour, virtue and patriotism of the first 
emigrants, stamped upon their descendants, who, obeying the 

" Let no mean hope your sonU enslaye; 
Be independent, generous, brave ; 
Your fathers such example gave, 
And such revere I" 

have, in all after times, emulated the heroism exhibited by 
their ancestors in their own wilderness and on the heights of 
King^s Mountain ; and animated by the same lofty spirit of 
freedom and independence, and glowing with the holiest im- 
pulses of patriotism, have displayed at Tohopeka and 
Emuckfaw, in the fastnesses of Florida, on the plains of the 
Mississippi, at the Alamo and St. Jacinto, under the walls of 
Monterey, at Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Cherubusco and Cha- 
pultepec, the same fearless disregard of danger, the same in- 
extinguishable love of freedom, the same pure devotion to 
liberty, the same undying thirst for glory. 

The soldiery of Tennessee have, under the lead of her own 
Jackson, hallowed the plains of Chalmette with a renown as 
extensive and immortal as the channel and the sources of 
the Mississippi. The lustre of the escutcheon of Tennessee 
has grown brighter wherever they were present, whether 
serving in the ranks, or leading the battalions and columns 
of the Volunteer State to the assault of a fortress or against 
the bristling bayonets of an enemy. On the fields of battle 
where the rifiemen of Tennessee have fought, new laurels 
have been won, fresh victories have been achieved, and un- 


dyiDg glory acquired, worthy of her ancient fame and her 
deathless renown. 

Virginia has been called the mother of statesmen. Ten- 
nessee, with equal truth, has been called the mother of states. 
From her prolific bosom, more than from any other state in 
the Union, have been sent forth annually, for half a century, 
nidnerous colonies for the peopling of the great valley of the 
Mississippi. Her emigrants are found everywhere in Ala- 
bama, Florida, Northern Georgia and Mississippi. The early 
population of Missouri, Arkansas and Texas, went from her 
boundaries ; while the entire Northwest of the United States, 
and the Pacific possessions, have been enriched from year to 
year by swarms of her enterprising and adventurous people 
from the parent hive. 

Tennessee has already assumed an elevated rank among 
her sister republics. Her future must be prouder and even 
magnificent. From the amount of her population, now num- 
bering more than a million,* from the extent of her territory, 

* Tnmuste StatUiieM of 1860, in population, agriculiur; wumufaetureB, dx. 

The relatiTe rank of Tenneieee, as compared with other states of the TJnioii, is: 

Iq area of square miles, Temieasee is the seventeenth, containing 45,600 aquare 

In popolation, the fifth, and the second of the Western States — ^being exceeded 
only by New-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. 

In number of inhabitants to the square mile, the sixteenth. 

In ratio of deaths to the number of living in 1860, the fifth — being exceeded 
even in a cholera year only by Wisconsin, Vermont, Iowa and Michigan. 

In number of acres of improved land, the eighth. 

In value of agriculture, implements, &c., the eleventh. 

In value of live stock, the seventh. 

In number of bushels of Indian com, the fifth — ^being exceeded only by Ohio, 
Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana — the product of Tennessee, in 1850, being 
52,187,868 bushels. In the census of 1840, Tennessee was thei first in the pro- 
duet of this grain. 

In. tobacco, the fourth — being exceeded only by Virginia, Kentucky and Mary- 
land—the crop of 1860 being 20,144,480 poonds. 

In number of bales of cotton, the fifth— the amount of the year's crop being 
172,626 bales ; being exceeded only by Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South- 

In the production of wool, the eleventh. 

In the value of home made manufactoree, the first state in the Union, amount- 
h^, in 1860, to $8,168,116. 

nrrRODUcnoM. 7 

and from her peculiar geographical location, touching upon 
eight members of the Union, and in close propinquity to three 
others, she will in all future time exert a weighty influence 
upon coterminous states, as well as upon the country at large. 
She has already furnished two Presidents of the U. States — 
Jackson and Polk — whose iron will and energy, whose ability 
and virtue, have stamped their administrations as worthy 
of the state, honourable and glorious to themselves, and 
eminently useful to the country and to the world. White 
and Grundy have added dignity and efiulgence to the United 
States Senate ; and a long list of statesmen, and jurists, and 
patriots, and heroes, have adorned the public councils, the 
bar, the bench, and in peace and war given eclat and celebrity 
to Tennessee. This relative consequence will become still 
more considerable when a concentration of the intelligence, 
and public spirit, and enterprise of her citizens, shall have 
more fully developed her physical and commercial resources. 
Her history is becoming, therefbre, every day more inter- 
esting and more important. What visions of the f\iture 
greatness and glory of their country, would have burst upon 
the view of Boone and his associates, could they have con- 
ceived, that their lonely and toilsome passage through the 
Apalachian mountain should open up. a communication to 
the West, for that flood of emigration, which, restrained for 
a time within narrower limits, at length broke over every im- 
pediment, and extending further, and wider, and onward, has 
overspread the vast valley of the Mississippi, and crossed, in 
its mighty sweep of adventurous enterprise, the mountain de- 
sert and the arid plain, to the shores of the distant Pacific? 
How must the heart of Robertson have thrilled with honest 
exultation, when he saw his feeble settlement on Watauga 
expand and grow to its present dimensions ; artd what rays of 
comfort would have cheered the evening of his life, could he 
have realized that Tennessee, in eighteen hundred and fifty. 

Id the value of cotton manu&ctures, the eleyenth. 
Id the value of woollen goods, the tenth. 
In the value of pig iron, the fourth. 
In the value of wrought iron, the aixtL 

[SxtratUdflrmi NtukvUU American: 


had become in population the fifth state in the Union, and 
the second of its western division 7 With what zeal should 
we of the present day cherish a grateful and hallowed re- 
membrance of the wisdom, patriotism and enterprise, which 
have bequeathed to us such a country, and endowed it with 
the ** patrimonial blessings of wise institutions, of liberty and 
of religion 7" How keen should be our regret that we know 
so little of those who have done so much for us 7 With one 
brilliant exception, no one h£ts attempted to perpetuate the 
achievements of the pioneers of Tennessee. An adopted son 
is the only one who has recorded her annals. In his history 
the late Judge Haywood has left a monument of industry, of 
research and of talents, scarcely less imperishable or honour- 
able to himself, than the distinction acquired in another de- 
partment of science — of being designated, by a competent 
authority, the Mansfield of America. But it is no qualifica- 
tion of this just and sincere tribute to his memory to add, that 
he has left much of the field before us unoccupied, unexplored 
and unknown. Some of the most brilliant incidents in our 
early history are unrecorded, which, if not soon rescued from 
oblivion, will be lost to the present generation, posterity and 
the world. We design, by this remark, no imputation of in- 
difierence or neglect on the part of those who have gone 
before us. The omission may be traced to a more obvious 
cause. The condition of the country at its first settlement, 
created a continued demand for exertion in the active pur- 
suits of life. Cut off by their local situation from all foreign 
sources of supply, the first adventurers depended upon their 
own labour in their own country, for the procurement of sub- 
sistence. A wilderness was to be reclaimed to the use of the 
husbandman, a border warfare was to be kept up, defences 
were to be erected, and the foundations of government were to 
be laid. From the pressure of these varied demands upon 
their time, no leisure was allowed to record their achieve- 
ments, to perpetuate the tales of their privations and suffer- 
ings, to narrate the deliberations of their sages, or the prowess 
of their heroes. This duty has devolved upon their grate- 
ful posterity. The task, however, is not without its difficul- 
ties. Much is already forgotten, and has faded from the 


minds of the oldest inhabitant ; much is indistinctly remem- 
bered, or handed down by vague and uncertain tradition. 
But difficult a^ it is, the duty has been attempted. To have 
shrunk from its performance, were a parricidal ingratitude. 
Its omission would have been criminal. 

In the investigations which have been made of the history 
of Tennessee, and the result of which is given in these pages, 
the usual assistance has not been derived from the archives 
of state and the portfolios of ministers. Sources more hum- 
ble, but not less authentic, have supplied this defect. The 
writer has procured the narratives of the older citizens, who 
have, ** ab urbe condita," resided in the country and partici- 
pated in its settlement and defence, and each of whom may 
truthfully say of the events he narrates, ^ quorum magna 
pars/ut." He has examined the papers of their deceased 
contemporaries, which have survived the ravages of time and 
accident. He has, with untiring perseverance, searched for 
and obtained ** the private files of the leaders of the day.** 
In the loft of a humble cabin, in a secluded neighbourhood, 
he was so fortunate as to find many of the official papers of 
the State of Franklin ; in another, the lost constitution of 
the inchoate or proposed State of Frankland. In the garret 
of an old uninhabited mansion, in Knoxville, was found an 
antique trunk, containing the Sevier papers. From like 
sources, much of the matter in this volume has been pro- 
cured. But these manuscripts, valuable and interesting as 
they are, furnished an inadequate supply of material neces- 
sary to form the Annals of Tennessee. The deficit has 
been made up by oral communications to this writer from 
the aged pioneer, whom he has visited in health and watched 
over in sickness, and from whose dying couch he has received, 
as a rich legacy, an account of the services of his youth and 
the exploits of his manhood. He has seen the eye of the 
aged narrator sparkle i^ith unwonted brilliancy during the 
recital, the heart of the infirm pulsate with unnatural vigour, 
and the spirit of the decrepid warrior animated with the fire 
of youthful heroism. 

Narratives, thus obtained, are the authority for many of 
the incidents which will be hereafter detailed. Their fre- 


quency atid minuteness will, to some readers, be tedious and 
uninteresting. When known to be authentic, the writer con- 
ceives them to be worthy of preservation in the annals of his 

Intimately blended with the general history of Tennessee, 
is the biography of the prominent actors in the interesting 
scenes it records. We are proud to mention, among the 
patriot sages of the country, the names of Carter, Cocke, 
Campbell, the Blounts, Jackson, White, Claiborne, Roane^ 
Scott, M cNairy and Trimble ; among the apostles of religion 
and learning, Doak, Barton, Houston, Craighead, Carrick, 
Brooks and Stone. Our state pride is justly excited when, 
among American worthies, we enumerate Boone, Christian, 
the Seviers, the Robertsons, the Shelbys, the Tiptons — names 
dear to the country and known to fame. Yet, where will 
be found a detailed account of their services, their exploits, 
or their sufferings ? Where will be read the affectiifg story 
of the patriotic and brave Tipton, who, when peace was 
restored to his own frontier, gallantly led his soldiers to the 
standard of his country under St. Clair, and fell fighting in 
the unequal conflict, refusing to leave the field while an 
enemy survived him ? Who has heard the last injunction to 
his family, given apparently under the presentiment of cer- 
tain death ? Who has read the biography of Shelby, whose 
youthful patriotism first glowed under the genial influence of 
a Carolina sky, but retained its ardour undiminished by the 
cold and chilling temperature of a Canadian winter ? And 
who has been the biographer of our own Sevier, that noble 
4^hieftain that led the pioneers of Tennessee to battle and to 
victory ? Who has recited his civic deeds ? or who, when a 
grateful Tennessean, wandering over the plains of Alabama, 
enquires in his lonely exile for the grave of the first general 
and the first governor in the West, can point to the place of 
his entombment ? On what field of victory has Tennessee 
gratitude erected his cenotaph ? 

** How died that hero t In the field, with banners o*er him thrown t 

With trmnpets in his falling ear hj charging squadrons blown ? 

With scattered foemen fljing fast and fearfully before him 9 

With shouts of triumph swelling round, and braye men bending o'er him ? * 

He £ed not thus ; no war note round him rang ; 


No warriors trndenieAth his eyes in harneas'd squadrons spnuig ; 
Alone he perished in the land he saVd, 
And where in war the yictor stood, in peace he found a fi^raye. 
Ah, let the tear flow freely now, it will not awake the sleeper. 
And higher as je pile his tomb^ his slumber shall be deeper. 
Freemen may sound the solemn dirge — ^the funeral diant be spoken ; 
Hie quiet of the dead is not by idle modkeries broken ! 
Yet, let Tennessee's banner droop aboye the fallen chief. 
And let the mountaineer's dark eye be dim with earnest grief ; 
For who will stand as he has stood, with willing heart and hand, 
To wrestle well with freedom's foes,— defender of his land 1" 

To remedy and supply, in some small degree, the defects 
and omissions thus alluded to, is the object and design of the 
succeeding pages. In the execution of this purpose, the writer 
proposes to give — 

1st. The discovery and exploration of the country now 
known as the State of Tennessee, the first approaches of 
civilization to it, and some account of the contiguous Indian 

2d. Its settlement and government under the Watauga 

8d. As a part of North-Carolina, embracing the participa- 
tion of the pioneers of Tennessee in the war of the Ameri- 
can Revolution. 

4th. The history of the revolt of the three western coun- 
ties, and of the insurrectionary State of Franklin. 

5th. The history of the Cumberland settlements, and of the 
Franklin counties, after they returned to their allegiance to 
the mother state. 

6th. The subject of the relations with Spain, and the ne- 
gotiation with that Power, relating to boundaries and the 
navigation of the Mississippi river. 

7th. The territory of the United States south of the River 

8th. The State of Tennessee to the end of the last century. 




As has been already remarked^ Tennessee is, in popula- 
tion, the fifth state in the Union. Her geographical position 
is pecuKar, and before the annexation of Texas, and the 
acquisition of New Mexico and California, entitled her to 
the name of the Central State. She is one of the rapidly 
increasing family of daughters which have sprung from the 
good old thirteen ; and though not a separate and distinct 
political organization at the eventful period of separation 
from the crown of Great Britain, it is a proud reflection 
that Tennessee is closely connected and directly identified 
with the cause of freedom and independence, and with the 
American Revolution, by a moumfol but glorious consasir 

The adventures and perils, of Tennessee pioneers, their 
hearty sacrifices for the general good, their character for 
conduct and courage in war, their uniform devotion to die 
honour and greatness of the country, their rapid advance* 
ments in the arts of peace, in population and political infiu- 
ence, and the impress of their wisdom, valour and patriot- 
ism which they have stamped upon their descendants, invite 
to the early history of their state the attention of every 
American, and secures the deepest regard of every Tennes- 

To examine these various topics satisfactorily, it will be 
necessary to look a little into the original condition of tha 
country, its first discovery and exploration, its aboriginal 
inhabitants, and the approaches of civilized man to it ; since, 


without this examination, feeble and inadequate indeed will 
be our conceptions of the adventure displayed, the hardships 
suffered, the dangers encountered, the services rendered, the 
conquests achieved, the glory won, by those who have effected 
the transmutation from rudeness to refinement, from barbar- 
ism to civilization, and from heathenism to Christianity. 

Postponing to another place any remarks upon the bounda- 
ries, the physical history, and the aboriginal population of 
Tennessee, it is proposed here to trace the approaches of 
civilization to its several boundaries in the exact order of 
their occurrence ; in doing which, its first discovery, explo- 
ration and settlement, will be the more clearly delineated 
and the more easily understood. 

Of the country included within the limits of the present 
State of Tennessee, little was known for more than two 
hundred and thirty years after the discovery of America. 
Until that time, with perhaps a single exception, the foot of 
no European adventurer had touched her soil. The vast 
interior of North America was a terra incognita, till long 
after the skill, and science, and cupidity, and arms of Spain, 
had crossed the continent further south, and reached the 
shores of the Pacific ocean. 

After the conquest of Mexico, achieved by Cortes with a 
handful of soldiers, vastly disproportioned to the population 
and resources of that immense empire, and after the capture 
and execution of the Inca and the subjugation of Peru by 
Pizarro, with a force still smaller, the fame of their victo- 
ries, the rapidity and ease with which they had been ob- 
tained, their sudden acquirement of incalculable treasure, 
and the imperishable renown of these skilful and indomita- 
ble leaders, excited afresh the spirit of exploration, adventure 
and acquisition. 

While Spanish discoveries and Spanish conquests had 
reached across the American continent, and extended along 
the Pacific coast from Chili to California, little was known 
of that immense country north of the Gulf of Mexico. As 
early as 1497, the coast of our parent state, North-Carolina, 
had been seen by Gaboto,* a Venetian adventurer, who. 


.MA&VASz'ji IWAaiOir. ' 16 

under the auspices of Henry VII. of England, and the pa- 
tronage of Bristol merchants, undertook to prosecute further 
discoveries in the New World. He returned, however, with- 
out attempting the conquest of the natives or the formation 
of . a settlement. In 1512, Juan Ponoe De Leon visited tb^ 
continent, in north latitude 30^, 8 ^ and discovered a country 
of vast and unknown extent, to which, from the abundance 
of flowers, and from its being first seen on Palm Sunday, 
(Pascha Florida,) he gave the name of Florida.*^ Being 
afterwards invested by the King of Spain with the govern- 
ment of the country hp had discovered, he attempted the 
erection of a town and fortress, but was assailed with such 
vigour by the natives, as to compel him to abandon the 
Country. The Indians used poisoned arrows. De Leon died 
from the wounds received in the encounter, and lost most of 
his men. Similar disfiusters seem to have overtaken the ad- 
venturous leaders who, after De Leon, attempted the subju- 
gation of Florida^t 

In 1524, Lucas Vasquez de Ay Hon efiected a landing fur- 
ther east, upon the coast of what is now Georgia or South- 
Carolina. Two hundred of his soldiers penetrated a few 
leagues in the interipr, while he remained with the rest of 
his force to guard his ships. The Indians attacked unexpect- 
edly the detachment he had sent out, and massacred the 
whole ; then falling suddenly upon the guard near the ships, 
succeeded in driving them from the coast. The few survi- 
vors returned to San Domingo. 

In 1528, Pamphilo de Narvaez sailed from Cuba, having 
on board four hundred foot and twenty horse, for the con- 
quest '' of all the lands lying from the River of Palms to the 
Cape of Florida," for which he had obtained a grant from 
Charles y. He anchored on the eastern coast, landed his 
troops, and took possession of the country without opposi- 
tion. But, marching into the interior, he at length reached 
Apalachee, where he encamped several days. The village 
had offered no resistance to the Spaniards, but this inoffen- 

* ?rom this discovery by De Leon, Spafti elaimed Flori^ as Ehgland did ffom 
that made, in U97, by Cabot, 
f For a long time, aU the country eonth of Newfoandland wis called Floiida. 


8ive spirit did not continue long. The natives were warlike 
and intrepid, harassed the camp of Narvaez by day and 
night, and compelled him to leave it. His march was beset 
by hordes of savages ** of gigantic height ; they had bows of 
enormous size, from which they discharged arrows with such 
force as to penetrate armour at the distance of two hundred 
yards.^* After the loss of many of his soldiers and horses, 
and the endurance of incredible hardships, ^ the hopes of 
wealth and conquest were at an end," and, coming to an arm 
of the se€^ Narvaez, despairing of reaching his ships by land, 
determined to construct small barques, and save the remnant 
of his little army from the ruin that menaced it. His frail 
barques were shipwrecked, and nearly all of his followers, 
with himself, found a watery grave. Five only survived the 
disasters by land and sea. 

We have thus seen the unfortunate termination of several 
well arranged enterprises, undertaken by able and experi- 
enced leaders, and promising, under Castilian courage and 
discipline, a certain, if not an easy conquest, of the original 
inhabitants of the country. The spirit of the native Ameri- 
can population seems no where to have been so energetically 
and so successfully exerted against the invaders of their coun- 
try. A very different result had followed the standard of 
the conqueror of Mexico. He, under circumstances scarcely 
more favourable, had met and discomfited numerous armies 
of native wairiors, fighting for their homes, their tnonarch 
and their religion, at Tobasco and Tlascala, and, with a 
courage bordering upon temerity, had pushed his conquest 
to the palace of Montezuma. Had the countries south of 
Tennessee been inhabited by the spiritless and imbecile 
natives of Mexico, which it was the good fortune of Cortes 
to meet and conquer, it is not difficult to conceive that some 
intrepid Castilian would have anticipated the laurels won by 
Anglo-American prowess on the hardly contested battle- 
grounds of Tamotlee, Etowah, Nickajack, Emuckfaw and 
Tohopeka, and erected the standard of the Cross upon the 
demolished council houses and ruined temples of the ances- 
tors of Oceola, To-mo-chi-chi and Oconostota. Different, 



indeed, was the character of the aborigines north of the 
Gulf of Mexico, at the period of which we are treating. A 
manly firmness of purpose, a wise union in counsel, and a 
determined bravery in action, enabled them to, repel every 
hostile invasion of their country, and to maintain nearly un* 
disturbed possession of it for two centuries after the dismem- 
berment of the Mexican confederacy, and after the Children 
of the Sun had been driven into exile or reduced to an igno- 
ble vassalage. The latter are humbled and nearly extinct, 
while the former retain even yet something of their original 
character ; though restrained, they are not subjugated — 
though curbed, their spirit is yet independent and free. 

BafQed and defeated as were the Spaniards, in the several 
attempts of invasion and conquest which have been thus 
slightly sketched, they projected further enterprises, upon a 
still larger theatre, under more imposing and magnificent 
appointments, and, if possible, under more distinguished and 
chivalrous leaders. The passion of the age was war and 
conquest ; the vice of the times was wealth and the pre- 
cious metals. In all these lay the path to preferment and 
distinction, and the cavaliers of Spain thrust themselves once 
more into it. Allured by the hope of finding gold and silver 
in the interior country, or incited by the thirst for glory, 
which had crowned their successes elsewhere — perhaps cha* 
grined at the failure which had marked all previous efibrts 
to achieve the conquest of Florida — they determined to in- 
vade the continent with such a force as would ensure its 
accomplishment. Ferdinand De Soto projected the expedi- 
tion, and received from the Emperor Charles V. permis- 
1SS9 i ^^^^ ^^ undertake the conquest. He was invested 
( with ample power, civil and military ; and from the 
official relation be bore to the Island of Cuba, was enabled 
to command all the means necessary for the meditated inva- 
sion. A companion in arms of Pizarro, he had assisted that 
renowned leader in the conquest of Peru, and commanded in 
person the squadron of horse that captured the unfortunate 
Inca, Atahualpa, and put his army to flight. Having thus 
added to his fame for courage and adroitness as a soldier, the 
weight of experience and success as a commander ; having 



received the most signal marks of his monarch's confidence 
and favour ; and having, in addition to the control of the 
resources of Cuba, the avails of his Peruvian conquests^ 
Ferdinand De Soto, in less than a year from the date of his 
first proclamation, found himself at the head of nine hun- 
dred and fifty Spaniards, anxious to serve under him in his 
adventurous expedition. The chivalry, rank and wealth of 
Spain entered into his army. *' Never had a more gallant 
and brilliant body of men ofiered themselves for the New 

In addition to the forces brought from Spain, the arma- 
ment of De Soto, by recruits and volunteers in Cub€^ was 
increased to a thousand men, besides the marines. There 
were also three hundred and fifty horses. 

The account here given of the outfit and composition of 
the army of De Soto, and the details which follow of his 
marches, his disasters, and the melancholy fate of himself 
and his men, will not be considered foreign to the purpose of 
these annals, when it is remembered that the country they 
invaded, and through which they marched, has since been 
invaded successfully by Tennessee enterprise, and won by 
Tennessee valour, and hallowed by Tennessee blood ; and 
that the Indian tribes, who attacked them soon after they 
landed at Tampa Bay, who harassed them on their march, 
obstructed their passage, broke in upon their bivouac, an- 
noyed their camp, resisted them in battle, and finally forced 
them to leave their country uncolonized and unsubdued, have 
long since yielded to the prowess and arms of American 
pioneers. The minutise of the track pursued by the invaders 
will be excused for the further reason, that it has been con- 
jectured, with much plausibility, that De Soto was the first 
European or civilized adventurer whose foot touched the 
soil, whose eye surveyed the vast wilderness, whose heart 
expanded with the contemplation of the magnificent scenery, 
and whose senses were regaled by the influences of the 
delightful climate of Tennessee. It may be added, in sorrow, 
that though not the first to see and cross her great mediter- 


ranean boundary — the Mississippi — ^he was the first to find 
an inhospitable grave beneath its turbid waters. 

Sailing from Havana on the 12th of May, 1530, tha 
( squadron, containing the army of De S<^o, arrived in 
( fifteen days at Espiritu Santo Bay, about half way 
down the western side of the peninsula of Florida. A de- 
tachment of three hundred men were landed, and, finding no 
Indians, they remained on shore all night in a state of care- 
less security. Towards morning they were vigorously at- 
tacked by a great number of savages, and forced to retreat 
to the edge of the sea in confusion. A reinforcement was 
soon landed, and put the natives to flight after a slight 

From his encampment near Espiritu Santo Bay, De S6to 
marched two leagues to a village, which was found deserted 
by the inhabitants. By the aid of some straggling Indians 
whom he had captured, he endeavoured to appease the ca- 
cique of the village, Hirrihigua, and invited him from his re* 
treat to a friendly interview. To this message, brought by 
his subjects, he replied, '* I want none of their speeches nor 
promises ; bring me their heads, and I will receive them joy- 
fully. "* 

A neighbouring cacique, Mucozo, was more placable. At 
the invitation of the envoys sent to him by De Soto, he visit- 
ed his camp, accompanied by his warriors. ** He kissed the 
hands of the governor with great veneration, saluted each 
one of his ofiicers, and made a slight obeisance to the pri- 
vates, "t 

As far as Mucozo, their march had been impeded by mo- 
rasses, which disappeared, however, as they advanced into 
the interior. It occupied them four days to go from Mucozo 
to Urribarracaxi (seventeen leagues). Here they were in- 
formed, in answer to inquiries about gold and silver, that 
there was a country to the westward, called Ocali, where 
the spring was perpetual and gold abundant. 

De Soto had received intelligence, that at the vilUfge of 
Urribarracaxi, a cacique of great influence, to whom 

*InriDg. fldem. 


hig^a and Mucozo paid tribute, he would find provisions fot 
his army. He took up the line of march always to the no^rdi- 
east, and on the morning of the third day came to the village of 
Mucozo (thirteen leagues). After marching seventeen leagues 
further to Urribarracaxi, and passing beyond it, they encoun- 
tered, at three leagues distance from the village, ^ a great mo- 
rass, a league in width, two-thirds mire and one-third water, 
and very deep at the borders. ^*^ After several days' search, 
a pass was found, by which, the army crossed it with ease. 

Their route soon became obstructed with impassable 
swamps and bogs, made by the streams of the morass they 
had just passed. It was, therefore, recrossed by De Soto and 
his^army. In their march from this place they encountered, 
again, the greatest difficulties from deep swamps and nu- 
merous bogs that everywhere intersected the country. la 
addition to these, they were often annoyed by the Indians^ 
who hung upon their rear and shouted, in words of threat and 
defiance : ^ Keep on, robbers and traitors ; in Acuera and 
Apalachee, we will treat you as you deserve. Every cap- 
tive will we quarter and hang upon the highest trees along 

the roadrt 

At the end of sixty miles from Urribarracaxi, they encamp- 
ed in ^ a beautiful valley, where were large fields of Indian 
oom, of such luxuriant growth as to be€tr three and four ears 
upon a stalk. ** This fertile province was ruled by a ca- 
cique named Acuera. De Soto invited him to & friendly 
conference. The haughty chief replied : " others of your ac*- 
cursed race have in years past poisoned our peaceful shores. 
They have taught me what you are. What is your employ- 
ment 7 To wander about like vagabonds from land to land ; 
to rob the poor — to betray the confiding — ^to murder in cold 
blood the defenceless. No I with such a people I want no 
peace, no friendship. War — never-ending, exterminating 
war — is all the boon I ask. You boast yourselves valiant, 
and so you may be, but my faithful warriors are not 
less brave ; and this, too, you shall one day prove, for I have 
sworn to maintain an unsparing conflict while one white 

* Inring. t Idem, pp. 104 and 106. 


man remains in my borders. Not openly in the battle field, 
though even thus we fear not to meet you; but by strata- 
gem, and ambush, and midnight surprisal. ^ * 

In reply to the demand that he should yield obedience to 
the emperor, he said : '' I am king in my own land, and will 
never become the vassal of a mortal like myself. Vile and 
pusillanimous is he who will submit to the yoke of another^ 
when he may be free I As for me and my people, we choose 
death, yes, a hundred deaths, before the loss of our liberty 
and the subjugation of our country I" 

As the event proved, these were no idle threats or un- 
meaning bravadoes of Acuera and his warriors. Stratagem, 
and ambush, and iliidnight surprisal, cut off many a brave 
Spaniard ; and while a white man remained in this province, 
the natives, with most unyielding spirit, continued to oppose 
and annoy the invaders. 

Unable to appease Acuera by pacific overtures or gentle 
treatment, De Soto broke up his encampment after a few days' 
rest, and passed over a desert tract twelve leagues broad, in 
a north-eastern direction, and then traversing an inhabited 
country, seven leagues more, arrived at the principal village 
of the province, called Ocali. It contained six hundred 
houses and vast quantities of provisions. " Hard by the vil- 
lage ran a wide and deep river, with most precipitous 
banks, "f Crossing this stream by a temporary bridge, the 
army of De Soto continued its march three days to the fron- 
tiers of Vitachuco — ** a province of great extent, being fifty 
leagues across. " It was governed by three brothers. Two 
of these, after a protracted negotiation, entered into terms 
of peace with De Soto, and agreed to use their influence 
with Vitachuco, the other cacique, to accept the offers of 
peace from the Spaniards. This chieftain was the most pow* 
erful of the three, and disapproved the terms made by the 
others with De Soto. He detained the envoys charged with 
the embassy ; imputed the pacific conduct of his brothers to 
cowardice, or to a spirit of inglorious submission ; and rep- 
resented the Spaniards as vagabonds and robbers, and warn- 
ed them not to enter into his dominions, vowing that ^^va- 

*IiTing. fldem. 


liant as they may be, if they dare to put foot upon my soily 
they shall never go out of my land alive — ^the whole race 
will I exterminate I" With similar messages he continued 
to threaten De Soto. At length, however, his two brothers 
visited Vitachuco, and he affected to be ^ won by their per- 
suasions, and agreed to enter into a friendly intercourse with 
the strangers.*** 

After this deceitful alliance, the Spaniards marched to the 
village of Vitachuco, and were received with great kindness 
and hospitality. The Indian interpreters, however, in a few 
days, disclosed to De Soto that a perfidious plot was devised 
to destroy^him and his army. Apprised by this disclosure of 
the details of the plot, De Soto, at a preconcerted signal, fell 
unexpectedly upon the cacique and his warriors, made Vita- 
chuco a prisoner, killed several hundred of his followers, and 
nine hundred more whom he had captured, he distributed as 
menials to his soldiers. But the fierce spirit of the cacique 
was yet unsubdued. Though a prisoner, and in the power of 
his conqueror, he laid another plot to put into effect the me- 
naces he had made against the invaders of his country. In 
this, too, he was unsuccessful. He fell, thrust through witlf 
a dozen swords and lances, ahd lost in these two engage- 
ments and ** the subsequent massacres, thirteen hundred of 
his warriors, the flower of his nation.**! 

The village of Vitachuco, where these battles were fought^ 
is thus described, and may possibly yet be identified by the 
physical features of the country around it. '^ Near the village 
was a large plain. It had on one side a lofty and dense for- 
est, on the other, two lakes ; the one about a league in cir- 
cumference, clear of trees, but so deep that three or four feet 
from the bank no footing could be found. The second, which 
was at greater distance from the village, was more than half 
a league in width, and appeared like a vast river, extending 
as far as the eye could reach.** X T^^^ village is called by the 
Portuguese narrator, Napatuca. The province was likely 
very fertile, certainly very populous, as the chosen warriors 
in the first battle amounted to ten thousand. 

De Soto, resuming his march, went four leagues the first 

* Irring. t Idem. t Idem. 


day, and ** encamped on the bank of a large and deep river,** 
a boundary of the province. Crossing the river on a bridge 
constructed by his army, the march was continued two 
leagues through a country free from woods ; here were found 
^ large fields of maize, beans and pumpkins, with scattered 
habitations.** * At the distance of four leagues further, the 
Spaniards arrived at Osachili, a village of two hundred 
houses. Hearing at this place of the fertility and extent of 
the province of Apalachee, they continued their march, and 
** were three days traversing an uninhabited desert, twelve 
leagues in extent, which lay between the two provinces, and 
about noon of the fourth day arrived at a great morass. It 
was bordered by forests of huge and lofty trees, with a dense 
underwood of thorns and brambles. In the centre of the mo- 
rass was a sheet of water half a league in width, and as far 
as the eye could reach in extent ''The opposite side of the 
morass was bordered by the same kind of impervious forest 
as the other; the distance across it was about a league and 
a half.** t Near this place, ten or eleven years before, the uii- 
fortunate Pamphilo de Narvaez had met with his signal de^ 
feat ; and the Indians, encouraged by their successes over him, 
made a desperate effort to gain a similar victory over the 
present invaders ; and the result seemed doubtful while the 
conflict was carried on in the morass. So soon, however, as 
the horsemen of De Soto gained the open woods, the contest 
was decided, and the natives were forced to fly. Apalachee^ 
the province to which De Soto had been directing his course^ 
was found to be not only fertile and well supplied with pro- 
visions, but, as he had been frequently forewarned, was in- 
habited by a brave and ferocious population, who, by strata- 
gem and cunning, not less than by open assaults, attempted 
to repel the invading Spaniards. 

The flrst night after they had crossed the morass, they en- 
camped near a small village in an open plain. The march 
was resumed next day, and they passed two leagues through 
fields of corn, and '' came to a deep stream bordered by deep 
forests." Here the Indians had made palisades and bar- 
riers, determining that at this place their utmost opposition 

* Inriog. t Idem. 

t4 DS SOTO *&BflUlIB8 HIBi MAWOi. 

should be made. But these efforts were insufficient. Seve- 
ral Spaniards were killed, others were wounded, yet they 
passed the stream with ease, and continued the march two 
leagues further, without opposition, and encamped. The next 
day they reached Anchayea, a village of two hundred and 
fifty large and commodious houses. Capafi was the name of 
the cacique of Apalachee. 

The winter was now approaching, and De Soto determin* 
ed to remain at Anchayea till the next spring. Fortifying 
the village, and building additional houses for barracks, and 
collecting from the adjoining neighbourhoods a supply of pro- 
visions, he went into winter quarters. Here he remained fire 
months, during which time he had received such information 
of the countries in the interior, as to point out his future 
course in quest of gold and silver, which seems to have been 
the primary object of himself and his followers. 

The march was resumed in the spring of 1540, in a north- 
east direction. On the third day the army reached Capa- 
obique, a village ** situated on high ground, on a kind of 
peninsula, being nearly surrounded by a miry marsh, more 
than a hundred paces broad.*** Two days further march 
brought them to the boundary between Apalachee and Ata- 
paha, into which latter province they now entered. On the 
third day, De Soto reached the village of Achese, and meet- 
ing with no hostile feelings fhim the natives, rested there 
several days. '^He theri resumed his march northeast, 
ascending for ten days along the banks of a river, skirted by 
groves of mulberry trees, and winding through luxuriantly 
fertile valleys.*' On the eleventh day he entered the province 
of Cofa, (alias Ocute,) which was fertile and plentiful, and 
inhabited by a kind and hospita|>le people, who entertained 
De Soto and his army five days. The march was continued 
^^ through a pleasant and luxuriant country, fertilized by 
many rivers,*' to the confines of Cofaqui. The cacique re- 
ceived the Spaniards with great pomp and kindne^ss, and 
^ imparted to De Soto every information about his own terri- 
tory, and spoke of a plentiful and populous province to the 
n<Mrthwest, oalled Cosa." f De Soto, however, determined 

t Idem. 


first to visit Cofachiqai, a province separated from Cofaqoi 
by an uninhabited tract of great extent. In passing through 
this, the army crossed two rivers, '' a cross-bow shot broad/' 
which were with difficulty forded. On the seventh da} their 
march was suddenly s^ested by *^ a wide, deep and unford- 
able river. ^' At length, after travelling along its banks 
several days, they reached a small village called Aymay, well 
furnished with provisions and surrounded with corn-fields. 
Here they rested seven days, and then continued their march 
along the bank of the river, till the third day they halted *'in 
a verdant region, covered with mulberry and other fruit 
trees. ^' Two leagues further they reached the village of the 
princess of Cofachiqui, situated on the opposite bank of the 
river, and were hospitably received. 

From Cofachiqui De Soto started. May 3, 1540, towards 
the north or northwest, in the direction of Cosa, which was 
represented to him to be distant twelve days journey. ^ He 
passed through the province of Achalaque — ^the most wretch- 
ed country, sayB the Portuguese narrator, in all Florida." * 
Progressing forward, he reached the province of Choualla, or 
Xualla, and encamped in its principal village of the same 
name, where he remained several days. '' This village was 
situated on the skirts of a mountain, with a small but rapid 
river flowing by it." Unlike Chelaque,this province abound- 
ed with maize and other provisions. 

At this place De Soto changed his route westward, aiming 
for the province of Quaxale. ^ The first day's march was 
through a country covered with fields of maize of luxuriant 
growth." t ** During the next five days they traversed a 
chain of easy mountains, covered with oak and mulberry 
trees, with intervening valleys, rich in pasturage and irri- 
gated by clear and rapid streams. These mountains were 
tw;enty leagues across, and quite uninhabited." These waste 
mountains being passed, the Spaniards entered the province 
of Guaxule. The cacique received them with great parade 
and courtesy, and conducted them to his village, which con- 
sisted of three hundred houses. *' It stood in a pleasant spot^ 
bordered by small streams, that took their rise in the a4jacent 

• Irring. t Idem. 


moantains." * ^ The several streams that traversed this pro- 
vince, soon mingled their waters and formed a grand and 
powerful river, along which the army resumed their journey.** 
**0n the second day of their march, they entered the small 
town of Canasauga. Continuing forwai;^ for five days through 
a desert country, on the 25th of June they came in sight of 
Ichiaha, thirty leagues from Guaxule. This village stood 
on one end of an island, more than five leagues in length.'^f 
They crossed the river in many canoes, and on rafts prepared 
for the purpose, and were quartered in and around the vil- 
lage, and ^ their worn-out horses enjoyed rich and abundant 
pasturage in the neighbouring meadows." (Query. What 
island did Ichiaha stand upon 7) While at this village the 
Indians showed the Spaniards how they obtained pearls from 
the oysters taken in the river.;!^ 

• Inring. f Idem. 

} The width of some of the streams, the nmnher and extent of their isUndi^ 
and the names of some of the Tillages and other localities mentioned in the ae- 
oomits given of De Soto*s mArdiee, have led to the belief that he may have wmitd 
the southern psrt of what is now East Tennessee, and that then turning west he 
crossed and recrossed the Tennessee riyer. McCuUough, in the map accompanj- 
ing his learned work,(*) lays down the route of De Soto*s army as penetrating at 
its extreme northern pcnnt to Choualla, near to the thirty -fifth degree of north lati- 
tude, and amongst the sources of the Coosa riyer. Choualla was situated oo tha 
■Idrta of a mountain with a small but rapid riyer flowing by it. Could that hay* 
been the modem Cherokee Chilhowee f The route hsd previously led the inya- 
ders to and through the province of Achalaque. It is known that the Cherokeea 
do not pronounce the letter r, and that they call themselves Chelakees. The nar- 
rator also describes the country as mountainous, and as answering well to the fea- 
tures of the country near Chilhowee. The Portuguese Oentlemun says the mooa- 
tains were very bad. Herrera says that though they were not disagreeable, tba 
mountains were twenty leagues across, and the anny was five dsys in passing 
over them. After leaving Choualla, the route lay westward. Mention is made of 
Canasaqua. May this have been the presiot Canasauga t Talisse and Sequin 
ohee — names fiuniliar to Tennessee readers — are also mentioned, and suggest the 
tiieory of Hartin,(t) that De Soto may have passed through Tennessee and int* 

Col. Pettival, who had been m the service of Napoleon during the peninsalar 
war, and was, therefore, fiuniliar with Spanish fortifications, visited, in 1884, " tw« 
Ibrts or camps oo the west bank of the Tennessee river, one mile above Brown's 

(*) Researches, Philoeophical and Antiquarian, concerning the aboriginal hit- 
toiy of America, 
(t) Martin's 


On the 2d day of July, DeSoto left Ichiaha, and travelled 
the length of the island to Acoste, a village on its extreme 
point, where they encamped. Next day they crossed the 
river in rafts and canoes, and afterwards continued their 
march through a fertile and populous province called Cosa. 
It was more than one hundred leagues in extent The vil- 
lage of the same name ^ was situated on the banks of a river, 
amidst green and beautiful meadows, irrigated by numerous 
email streams." • 

On the 20th of AuguA, De Soto left Cosa, and passing 
Ullabali, continued the march to Talise. It was a well for- 
tified post, '* and situated on the bank of a very rapid river, 
which nearly surrounded it." During his stay at Talise, De 
Soto received an embassy from Tuscaluza, the cacique of the 
immense province which the Spaniards now approached, 
inviting him to his residence, which was about thirteen 
leagues distant. The army accordingly crossing the river, 
in a few days reached Tuscaloosa (alias Piache). '' It was 
a strong place, situated like Talise, upon a peninsula formed 
by the windings of the same river, which had here grown 
wider and more powerful."t The next day was spent in* 
making rafts and crossing the river; and continuing the 
march on the third day, October 18, they arrived before the vil- 
lage of M auvila. ''It was strongly fortified, and stood in a fine 
plain, and was surrounded by a high wall made of logs.** % 
The pacific conduct of the several tribes with which the 
Spaniards had met during the last few months, and espe- 
cially the friendly overtures of the powerful chieftain in 
whose capital they now were, had thrown them ofi* their 
guard. But while reposing in the village and around its 

Ferrjr, below the Moscle Shoals, and opposite the moath of Cedar Creek, (the ooanfy 
not mentioaed,) which certainly belongs to the expedition of Alphonso De Soto." 
He'promiBes, in the letter from which this extract is made, a plan and description of 
these fortifications. He died soon after, and this writer is without further infor- 
mation on the subject It is certainly worthy of the further attention of the curious. 
The information concerning the exact route pursued by De Soto, is so obscure 
and scanty, that it is difficult to make even an approximation to the truth. After 
all the speculations and conjectures which several authors have made about it« 
liiUe progress has been attained in the solution of the enquiry. 

* Irring. f Idem. t Idem. 


walls in imagined secarity, tbey were suddenly assailed by 
the natives. They had concentrated all their own warriors 
at this place, and many from neighbouring provinces had 
joined them. For nine hours the battle raged, often with 
doubtful success to the Spaniards. At the setting sun, how- 
ever, victory was obained over the Indians. They fought 
with desperation, as was evident by the numbers slain—- 
twenty-five hundred. The loss of De Soto was eighty-two. 

After so severe a battle, the army of De Soto needed repose. 
They rested, therefore, several days at Mauvila, to take care 
of his wounded followers. On the eighteenth of November 
he turned his course northward, and after marching five days 
through an uninhabited country, entered the province of 
Chicaza. ''The first village at which they arrived, was 
called Cabusto. It was situated on a river, wide and deep, 
with high banks.*** To the proffers of peace made by De 
Soto, the inhabitants replied, "War is what we want — ^a war 
of fire and blood.** Eight thousand warriors collected to- 
gether to oppose his crossing, but were soon put to flight by 
the cavalry, and dispersed to the fastnesses of the adjoining 
country. Without further opposition the march was con- 
tinued to Chicaza. "It stood upon a gentle hill, stretching 
from north to south, watered on each side by a small stream, 
bordered by groves of walnut and oak trees." It was the 
I8th of December when the army arrived at Chicaza, and 
the weather being cold, with snow and ice, De Soto deter- 
mined to winter here. At Chicaza, as at Mauvila, the Span- 
iards were surprised by a well arranged night attack from 
the Indians. As in the former case, the Spaniards were vic- 
torious ; their loss, however, was severe. Forty soldiers were 
killed, and fifty horses. 

After a few days his encampment was broken up, and the 
army marched to Chiacilla, about a league distant ; here they 
spent the remainder of the winter, and till the end of March. 
**The cold was rigorous in the extreme.** 

From this place the army marched, the 1st April, four 
leagues, and encamped in a plain beyond the Chicaza boun- 
dary. At a fortress of great strength, called Alibamo, was 

• Inring. 


the next battle fought. It was ^ upon a narrow and deep 
river, that flowed in its rear." The loss of the Spaniards was 
fifteen; that of the natives, great. Continuing the march 
towards the north, ^ for seven days they traversed an unin- 
habited country, full of forests and swamps. At length they 
came in sight of a village, called Chisca, seated near a wide 
river.'^ * This was the largest stream they had discovered 
in their expedition, and the Spaniards called it the Rio Grande. 
It is evidently the Mississippi. Juan Coles, one of the fol- 
lowers of De Soto, says that the Indian name of the river was 
Chucagua. The Portuguese narrator says, that in one place 
it was called Tomaliseu ; in another, Tupata ; in another, 
Mico ; and at that part where it enters the sea, Ri. It is 
probable it had difierent names among the difierent Indian 
tribes. The village of Chisca, near its banks, was called by 
the Portuguese narrator, Quizquiz. 

It is generally conjectured that Chisca, the village near 
which De Soto was encamped, and which bore the name of 
ibe chieftain of the province through whose territories the 
Spaniards were passing, occupied the site of the present 
thriving city of Memphis, and that the point where they 
crossed the Mississippi was near the Chickasaw Bluff. A 
mournful interest will be excited in the mind of the Ten- 
nessee reader to know every incident that occurred during 
the sojourn of the cavaliers near our boundaries or within 
our state. We copy from Irving. 

" The Indiaiis of this province, owing to their unceasing warfare with 
the natives of Chicaza, and the country lying between them being un- 
peopled, knew nothing of the approach of the strangers. The moment 
the Spaniards descried the village, they rushed into it in a disorderly 
manner, took many Indian prisoners, of both sexes and of all ages, and 
pillaged the houses. 

'^Od a high arti6cial mound, on one^ide of the village, stood the 
dwellioff of the cacique, which served as a fortress. The only ascent to 
it was by two ladders. Many of the Indians took refuge there, while 
others fled to a dense wood, that arose between the village and the 
river. Chisca, the chieftain of the province, was very old and lying ill 
in his bed. flearinff the tumult and shouts, however, he raised himself 
nd went forth ; and as he beheld the sacking of his village, and the 
CMtore of his vassals, he seized a tomahawk, and began to descend in a 
ftnioos ragei threatening vengeance and extermination to all who had 

• Irving. 


dared to enter his domains without permission. With all these bniy»> 
does, the cacique, besides being infirm and very old, was pitiful in his 
dimensions ; the most miserable little Indian that the Spaniards had 
seen in all their marchings. He was animated, however, by the deeds 
and exploits of his youth, for he had been a doughty warrior and ruled 
over a vast province. 

^* The women and attendants of the cacique surrounded him, and, 
with tears and entreaties, prevailed upon him not to descend ; at the 
same time, those who came up from the village informed him that the 
enemy were men such as they had never before beheld or heard o( and 
that Uiey came upon strange animals of great size and wonderful agility. 
If you desire to battle with them, said they, to avenge this injury, ii 
will be better to summon together the warriors of the neighbourhood, 
and await a. more fitting opportunity. In the meantime, let us put on 
the semblance of friendship, and not, by any inconsiderate rashness, 
provoke our destruction. With these and similar arguments, the women 
and attendants of the cacique prevented his sallying forth to batUe. 
He continued, however, in great wrath, and when ^e governor sent 
him a message, offering peace, he returned an answer, refusing all amity, 
and breathing fiery vengeance. 

^ De Soto and his followers, wearied out with the harassing war&ie 
of the past winter, were very desirous of peace. Having pillaged the 
Tillage and offended the cacique, they were in something of a dilemma ; 
aooordmgly, they sent him many gentle and most soothing messages. 
Added to their disinclination for war, they observed, that during the 
three hours they had halted in the village, nearly four thousand weQ 
armed warriors had rallied around the cadque, and they feared that if 
such a multitude could assemble in such a short time, there must be 
large reinforcements in reserve. They perceived, moreover, that the 
situation of the village was very advantageous for the Indians, and very 
unfavourable to them ; for the plains around were covered with trees 
and intersected by numerous streams, which would impede the move- 
ments of the cavalry. But more than all this, they had learned from 
sad experience, that these incessant conflicts did not in the least profit 
them ; day after day, man and horse were slain, and, in the midst of a 
hostile country, and far from home and hope of succour^ their number 
was gradually dwindling away. 

^ The Indians held a council, to discuss the messages of the strangers. 
Many were for war ; they were enraged with the imprisonment of their 
wives and children, and the pillage of their property — to recover which, 
according to their fierce notions, the only recourse was arms. Others, 
who had not lost any thing, yet desired hostilities, from a natural indi- 
nation for fighting. They ^inshed to exhibit their valour and prowess, 
and to try what kind of men these were, who carried such strange arms. 
The more padfic savages, however, advised that the proffered peaoe 
should be accepted, as the surest means of recovering tneir wives, and 
children, and CTOcts. They added, that the enemy might bum their vil- 
lages and lay waste their fields, at a time when their grain was almost 
ripening, and thus add to their calamities. The valour of these stranr 


gen, said they, is sufficiently evident ; for men who have passed through 
BO many enemies, cannot be otherwise than brave. 

*^ This latter counsel prevailed. The cacique, dissembling his anger, 
replied to the envoy, that since the Spaniards entreated for peace, he 
would grant it, and allow them to halt in the village, and give them 
food, on condition that they would immediately free his subjects and 
restore their effects, not keeping a single article. He also stipulated 
that they should not mount to see him. If these terms were accepted, 
he said he would be friendly ; if not, he defied them to the combat. 

^ The Spaniards readily agreed to these conditions ; the prisoners and 
plmider were restored, and Uie Indians departed from the village, leaving 
food in the dwellings for the Spaniards, who sojourned here six days to 
tend the sick. On the last day, with the permission of the cacique, De 
Boto visited him, and thanked him for his friendship and hospitality, 
and, on the subsequent day, they resumed their march. Departing 
from Chisca, the army travelled by slow journeys of three leagues a day, 
on account of the wounded and sick. They lollowed up the windings 
of the river until the fourth day, when they came to an opening in the 
thickets. Heretofore, they had been threading a vast and dense forest, 
bordering the stream, whose banks were so high, on both sides, that 
they oould neither descend nor clamber up them. De Soto found it 
necessary to halt in this place twenty days, to build boats or piraquas to 
eross the river ; for, on the opposite bank, a great multitude of Indian 
warriors were assembled, well armed, and with a fleet of canoes to 
defend the passage. 

'^The morning after the governor had encamped, some of the natives 
▼iflited him. Advancing without speaking a word, and turning their 
frees to the east, they made a profound genuflexion to the sun ; then 
fedng to the west, they made the same obeisance to the moon, and con- 
tluded with a similar, but less humble, reverence to De Soto. They 
said that they came in the name of the cacique of the province, and in 
the name of all his subjects, to bid them welcome, and to offer their 
friendship and services ; and added, that they were desirous of seeing 
what kind of men these strangers were, as there was a tradition handed 
down from their ancestors, that a white people would come and conquer 
their country. The adelantado said many kind things in reply, and 
dinnifised them well pleased with their courteous reception." 

At the end of twenty days, four piraqaas were built and 
launched. About three hours before the dawn of day, De 
Soto ordered them to be manned, and four troopers of tried 
courage to go in each. The rowers pulled strongly, and 
when they were within a stone's throw of the shore, the 
troopers dashed into the water, and, meeting with no opposi- 
tion from the enemy, they easily eflfected a landing and 
made themselves masters of the pass* Two hours before 
tlie mm went down, the whole army had passed over tli9 


( Mississippi. The river in this place, says the Por- 
( tuguese historian, was a half leagae from one shore 
to the other, so that a man standing still could scarce be 
discerned from the opposite bank. The stream was of great 
depth, very muddy, and was filled with trees and timber 
carried along by the rapidity of the current. 

It is deemed not necessary to the purpose of these annals^ 
to follow the route of De Soto further. The object of bis 
expedition had been conquest and colonization. He had 
thus far succeeded in neither. The generous mind sympa- 
thizes in his reverses of fortune. The captor oi Atahualpa 
entreated a peace with the superannuated cacique of Chisca ; 
a leader at the storming of Cusco, asked leave to bivouao 
in the wigwam of his subjects ; and the Governor of Cuba 
begs for the hospitalities of the chieftain of an interior pro- 
vince on the banks of the Mississippi. It is painful to wan- 
der with him a year longer in the wild and boundless soli- 
tudes west of that stream, or to trace his return to it, to die 
( in the secluded forest upon its shore. It will be suffi- 

1543 1 

( cient to remark, that the death of the enterprising^ 
commander of the expedition, the vast amount of money 
(100,000 ducats) expended, the loss of more than two-thirds 
of his army, his failure to find gold or to achieve any of the 
objects of the undertaking, discouraged further attempts by 
Europeans to penetrate this part of the country ; and it was 
not till 1673 that another adventurer from the Old World 
again visited what is now known as Tennessee. 

Maritime discoveries were, however, still prosecuted ; 
and at the very time De Soto was carrying on his abortive 
invasion by land, the interior of North America was sought 
in another direction, and under the auspices of another 
nation. In 1542, Cartier and Roberval had sailed up the St 
Lawrence, built a fort, and made a feeble efibrt to explore 
and settle Canada. The colony was soon abandoned, and 
for half a century the French took no measures to establish 
settlements there. England, also, partook of the spirit of 
exploration and adventure that was still active and engross- 
ing. That power, in consequence of the discoveries by the 
Gabots, bad taken formal possession, under Sir Humphrey 


Gilbert, in 1 563, of Newfoundland. The next year, Queen 
Elizabeth, by royal patent, authorized Sir Walter Raleigh 
to discover and occupy such remote, heathen and barbarous 
lands, not possessed or inhabited by Christian people, as to 
him should seem good.* Under this patent, Raleigh sent 
two experienced commanders, Amadas and Barlow, to ex* 
plore the country then called Florida. They arrived on the 
American coast, July 4, 1584, and sailed along the shore one 
htindred and twenty miles, before they could, find an entrance, 
by any river, issuing into the sea. Coihing to one at length, 
they entered it, and having manned their boats and viewed 
the a<yoinitig lands, they took formal possession of the coun- 
try for the Queen of England.! They had landed upon the 
Isli^nd of Wocoken, the southernmost of the islands forming 
Oeracock Inlet, upon the coast of our parent state,' North- 
Carolina* The adventurers explored Roanoke Island and 
Albemarie Sound, and, after a short stay, returned to Eng* 
land, *^ accompanied by Manteo and Wanchese, two natives 
of the wilderness ; and the returning voyagers gave such 
glowing descriptions of their discoveries as might be ex- 
pected from men who had done no more than sail over the 
smooth waters of a summerV sea, among 'the hundred is- 
lands' of North-Carolina. Elizabeth, as she heard their 
reports, esteemed her reign signalized by the discovery of the 
enchanting regions, and, as a memorial of her state of life;, 
named them Virginia.^;!^ Raleigh', determined to carry into 
eflTect his scheme of colonization, found little difficulty in 
collecting together a large company of emigrants, and, in 
April ,of 1585, fitted out a new expedition of seven vessels 
and one hundred and eight colonists, with which to form the 
first settlement upon the soil of Carolina. The fleet reached 
Wocoken the 26th of June, and having left the colony 
tinder the direction of Ralf L&ne as its governor. Sir Richard 

* Thus QoMti EUnbeth ezecntad the first patent from an Engliah soTereign, 
iac anj landa withlo the territory of tbe United States, to Sir Walter Ealei^t* 
Its date is March 26, 16S4. The present State of Tennessee is within its bonn- 
dariefl^ but nearl j two centuries elapsed before that part of the queen's grant waa 

fHolnea. 4 Bancroft. 



Grenville, in command of the ships, returned to Plymouth. 
The colony, however, was destined to be short-lived. Its 
members became discontented, their supplies were exhausted, 
they sighed '* for the luxuries of the cities of their native 
land,^' and an opportune arrival of Sir Francis Drake fur- 
nished the means of their return to England. * 

Sir Walter Raleigh, not to be driven from his purpose of 
( colonization by past failures, collected another body 
( of emigrants, with wives and families and implements 
of husbandry ; intending to form an agricultural community, 
in which the endearments of home and the means of pro- 
curing a certain subsistence, might ensure stability and per- 
manence. This new and more promising colony, with Jolm 
White for its governor, was sent out in April, and arrived 
July 23, at Roanoke, where the foundations of the ** citie of 
Raleigh" were laid. 

Eleanor Dare, wife of one of the assistants, and the daugh- 
ter of Governor White, gave birth to a female child, the first 
ofi*spr]ng of English parents on the soil of the United States.* 
It was called, from the place of its birth, Virginia Dare. 

But the wise policy and liberal provision of Raleigh .were' 
lost upon this his last colony. In 1590 not a vestige of its 
existence could be found. 

In 1607, a more successful efibrt secured the formation of 
a permanent English colony in America. Captain Newport 
commanded a fleet of three ships, with one hundred emi- 
grants, to Virginia. He had intended to land at Roanoke, 
and make further attempts to form a settlement there ; but 
being driven by a storm to the northward of that place, the 
fleet entered Chesapeake Bay, and, on the 13th of May, the 
adventurers took possession of a peninsula upon the north 
side of the river Powhatan. Here they laid ofl* a town, 
whichi in honour of the king, they called James Town. The 
charter under which this flrst English colony in America was 
planted, reserved supreme legislative authority to the king ; 
And while a general superintendence of the colony was con- 
fided to a council in England, appointed by him, its local ad- 
ministration was entrusted to a council residiAg within its 

* Bancroft. . 


limits. ^To the emigrants themselves it conceded not one 
elective franchise ; not one of the rights of self-government*'* 

A second charter, in 1609, invested the company with the 
election of the council and the exercise of legislative power, 
independent of the crown. 

In 1612, a third patent gave to the company a more demo- 
cratic form ; power was transferred from the council to the 
stockholders, and ** their sessions became the theatre of bold 
and independent discussions.'^ In 1619, the colonists them- 
selves were allowed to share in legislation ; and in June of 
that year, the governor, the council, and two representatives 
from each of the boroughs, constituted the first popular repre- 
sentative body of the western hemisphere.f In 16S1, a writ- 
ten constitution was brought out by Sir Francis Wyat, gov- 
ernor of the colony, extending still further the representative 
principle. Under its provisions two burgesses were to be 
chosen for the assembly by every town, hundred or particu- 
lar plantation. All matters were to be decided by a majority 
in the assembly, reserving to the governor the veto power» 
and requiring the sanction of the general court of the com- 
pany in England. On the other hand, no order of the gene- 
ral court was to bind the colony until assented to by the as- 
sembly ; each colonist thus became a freeman and a citizen^ 
and ceased to be a servant of a commercial company, and 
dependent on the will and orders of his superior.;]; The colony 
flourished, and its frontier extended to the Potomac in the 
interior, and coastwise expanded to Albemarle Sound, upon 
which the first permanent settlers in North-Carolina pitched 
their tent, having been attracted by the report of an adven- 
turer from Virginia, who, on his return from it, '' celebrated 
the kindness of the native people, the fertility of the country, 
and the happy climate, that yielded two harvests in ea^h 
year.'*§ These representations of the advantages of the 
eoantry, and the prosperous condition of its pioneer emigrants, 
awakened the cupidity and excited the ambition of English 
coartiers. On the 24th of March, 1663, Charles II. granted 
to Edward, Earl of Clarendon, Monk, Lord Craven, Lord 
Ashley Cooper, Sir John Colleton, Lord John Berkeley, Sir 

•Bincnlt t.II<ilB>«^ (Idem. § Smitli's Yngiiiia. 


William Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret, all the country 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, included between the 
thirty-first and thirty-sixth parallels of latitude, and consti- 
tuted them its proprietors and immediate sovereigns. Exten- 
sive as was this grant, the proprietaries in June, 1665, secured 
by a second patent, an enlargement of their powers, and 
such further extent of their boundaries, as to include all the 
country between the parallels of thirty-six degrees thirty 
minutes and twenty-nine degrees north latitude, embracing 
all the territory of North and South-Carolina, Georgia, Ten- 
nessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, a part of 
Florida and Missouri, and much of Texas, New Mexico ani 
California. That part of its northern boundary extending from 
the top of the Alleghany mountain to the eastern bank of 
the Tennessee river, is the line of separation between Vir^ 
ginia and iTennessee, and Kentucky and Tennessee; 

** Among other powers conferred upon the lord proprietors 
was that of enacting laws and constitutions for the people t>f 
that province, by and with the advice, assent and approbation 
of the freemen thereof or of the greater part of them, or of their 
delegates or deputies, who were to be assembled from time to 
time for that purpose.^^ * So early and so deeply was the 
germ of self-government planted in Carolina. In 16H7, thB 
first constitution was given by the proprietary government. 
It directed that the governor should act with the udvice of a 
council of twelve, one half to be appointed by himself, the 
other half by the assembly, and this was to be composed of 
the governor, the council, and twelve delegates chosen by the 

Historians do not agree as to the precise year in which the 
fibret legislative body in North-Carolina convened. It was 
certainly, however, in 1066 or 1667. This legislature was 
called the ^ Grand Assembly of the County of Albemarlp.** 
Its principal acts were such as were believed to be reqoireil 
by the peculiar situation of the country, and were prompted 
by* an anxious desire to increase its population.! 

While the colonists of Virginia and Carolina were slowly 
extending their settlements in the direction of Tennessee, 

•liwfaoeofRiftisedSUtiileiofNortM^arMiia. fldmtu 


they remained entirely ignorant of the great interior of the 
continent. It was the policy of the proprietors to know some- 
thing more of the vast domains within the limits of their 
grants, and explorations were projected to ascertain and oc- 
cupy them. In their hunting excursions, the highlands of 
Virginia had been seen, but adventure had not discovered 
the distant sources of its rivers, and the country beyond the 
Blue Ridge was yet unknown. Its original inhabitants still 
roamed through the ancient woods, free,- independent and 
secure, in happy ignorance of the approaches of civilized man. 
Its flora, scattered in magnificent profusion over hill and dale, 
mountain and prairie, still '' wasted its fragrance on the desert 
atr." La Belle Reviere, in quietude and silence, winded 
along its placid current through the " dark and bloody land " 
to the Father of Rivers, which itself, in turbid violence, rolled 
its angry floods in solitary grandeur to the sea. It was not 
till 1655, that ''Colonel Woods, who dwelt at the falls of 
James river, sent suitable persons on a journey of discovery 
to the westward ; they crossed the Alleghany mountains, and 
reached the banks of the Ohio and other rivers emptying 
into the Mississippi." * The route pursued is not distinctly 
known. It is scarcely probable that, ascending the James 
river. Colonel Woods fell into the beautiful valley of Vir- 
ginia, and, following its course, passed through the upper 
part of East Tennessee and Cumberland Gap to the Ohio. 
With the limited knowledge then had of the geography of the 
West, the Holston would be considered as an immediate tri- 
butary o^the Mississippi. If such was indeed the route pur- 
sued. Colonel Woods was the pioneer in that great channel 
of emigration that more than a century afterwards began to 
pour its immense flood of emigrants from the Atlantic to the 

In the meantime, religious enthusiasm and French loyalty 
were extending discoveries to the westward in another chan- 
neL The feeble settlements of the French planted upon the 
1605 i ^^' Lawrence, were strengthened and extended along 
( the great lakes. In 1665, Father Claude AlloUez em- 
backed on a mission to the Far West by way of the Ottawa* 

* Martin's North-CaroUna, toI. 1, p. 116. 


Daring bis voyages along the lakes, and his sojourn in the 
immense wilds around them, '' he lighted the torch of faith 
for more than twenty different nations.^ His curiosity was 
roused by bearing from the Illinois ^ the tale of the noble 
river on which they dwelt, and which flowed towards the 
south." AUoUez reported its name to be Messipu 

In 1673, Marquette, another missionary, and Joliet, pene- 
trated beyond the lakes. Talon, the intendant of New 
France, wished to signalize his administration by *' ascertain- 
ing if the French, descending the great river of the central 
west, could bear the banner of France to the Pacific, or plant 
it, side by side with that of Spain, on the Gulf of Mexico.** • 
Under his patronage, Marquette and Joliet, with five French 
companions and two Algonquins as guides, entered upon the 
enterprise. Their canoes were carried across the narrow 
portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and on the 
10th of* June, in the beautiful language of Bancroft, France 

\ and Christianity stood in the valley of the Mississippi. 

( Descending the Wisconsin in seven days, they entered 
the great river. They were peaceably received by the Illi- 
nois and other Indian tribes along its banks. The Missouri 
was then known by its Algonquin name, Pekitanoni. The 
Ohio was then, and long after, called the Wabash. In the 
map published with Marquette's Journal, in 1661, numerous 
villages are laid down upon its banks as inhabited by the 
(Ghauvanon) Shawnees, and east of them, in the interior, are 
represented dense Indian settlements or villages of different 
tribes, and all situated between the thirty-fifth and thirty- 
sixth degrees. Highlands corresponding to the first, second 
and third Chickasaw Bluffs, as now known, are delineated 
with considerable accuracy ; as is also a large island in the 
Mississippi nearly opposite to the lower bluff, now known as 
President's Island. The Ohio has a tributary running into it 
from the south-east, and the Shawnee villages occupy a 
place upon the map between that tributary and the Missis- 
sippi. The latter stream is spelled Mitchisipi.' In the land 
of the Chickasaws, the Indians had guns, obtained probably 
by traffic or warfare with the Spaniards. Lower down 4he 

* Bancroft. 


river axes were also seen, acquired probably in the same 

The adventurers descended as low as the mouth- of the 
Arkansas, and on the 17th of July ascended the Mississippi 
on their return. The account of their voyage and discove- 
ries excited among their countrymen brilliant schemes of 
colonization in the south-west, — a spirit of territorial aggran- 
dizement for the crown of France, and of commerce between 
Enrope and the Mississippf — and La Salle was commissioned 
to perfect the discovery of the great river. In 1682, he de- 
scended that stream to the sea, planted the arms of France 
near the Gulf of Mexico, claimed the territory for that power, 
and in honour of his monarch, Louis XIV., gave it the name 
of Louisiana. As he passed down the river he framed a 
cabin anQ built a fort,* called Prud'homme, on the first 
Chickasaw Bluff. The first work, except probably the pira- 
quas of De Soto, ever executed by the hand of civilization 
within the boundaries of Tennessee. A cabin and a fort I 
Fit emblem and presage of the future in Tennessee. The axe 
and the rifle, occupancy and defence, settlement and con- 

While at the Bluff, La Salle entered into amicable arrange- 
ments for opening a trade with the Chickasaws, and esta- 
blished there a trading post that should be a point of ren- 
dezvous for traders passing from the Illinois country to the 
posts that should be established below. The commercial 
acumen of . La Salle in founding a trading post at this point, 
is now made most manifest. Near the same ground has 
since arisen a qity, whose commerce already exceeds that of 
any other in Tennessee, and whose facilities for trade, foreign 
and domestic, by land or water, portend a commercial destiny 
■earcely inferior to that of the ancient Memphis ; and, after 
die accomplishment of the public improvements contemplated 
and projected, not surpassed by any point upon the Missis- 
ikippi above New-Orleans. 

Thns one hundred and eighty years after the discovery of 
America, and one hundred and thirty years after De Soto had 
erosBed our western limit, did Marquette and Joliet coast 

* Martin*8 North-Carolina, toL 1, p. 176. 



nloiifT i»inl ilittwivpr lli«* \vi*»trrn l>c>uiulnry of Tennesiee. 
thiiH, mil- liiiiulrr-il yi'iirs nWer l{iii't'ii Klizahplh had : 
tlir ]iiili'iit (<■ Sir WiiIdT Itiili'iRli, did l,;i SuIIp claim : 
iiioiiiirfli, (.Hiiis \IV., the rit'li tloiiinin. with the illinr 
mill iiint;i>ili('<'iit rrKotirrcs u( tW cn-iil Mississippi ' 
III iiniiiCnt' till' uiKvrltiia tonurr ol nil carihly monai 
tiiiiy lio rriiiiirkcil, lli.-il lli<< oltiiins ol' U>tli these riv* 
tIttiiiH liiivo loiiK siiiro ))tiNSf(l into llu< liiiiiils of Othei 
tliiil Aiiii'rii'iiii !«>vt*r»'iBniii** »ni) Aiiicrirnii freemei 
IHWNrNs Hint oontni) lhi< rioli hfri;:i::o wliich. in its 1' 
lorriloriiil !ii*iiiiiNition, Kiiropriiti roynliy liail. with mun 
|inNl))titliiy, ii|i)iro)ir)iiloil lor triut>-»ilaiuio suhiects. 

Artor iliis r;ii>iil siirv«-\ of Kn-iu-Ii oxplnratioo ai 
i'uvrry in ilir Wt-sl, wr rt'tiirti lo noiioo :'ur:her ihe ( 
mill i-NtviiMon or' \ inrmiA »iiil C:iiMl:n:i. n> ihroo^b tti 
K-titT )t<Ti>>ils, wciv the iiriiik'ipnl »\rnur^ oi cmi^ra 

111 iho loniH'r o.>lor). :i-!«|v^rary .::mt-i:!:io* rrsailt*" 
rtt il i*i^ii:noi;i«ti a»hi .v,'.i>,i''na; sc£fv»,onj of lb* ni 
mill -.he pfl^ftTiaev.: :-..a.: Wtv. o.^i.'.uo:*-.! » iih »uc] 
iw.\^<T,ii:.M-. ;!-..-\: ::■»-;■.■. :> w .-.» r^ *:.--i ,;. stid a ra] 
orrsw .m" }vj^«".,'»;tvr. s-.: ::.f <\:. ;.>..;■. .-■:" ib? fwnli 
to:j.'««s;. i- I(i"i. \ -^ r s ;-,■■■ "n : iv. :.•-.} ;iiOiaRaiid 

AS-m»TT. .'> N.--:, -*.'■-, .; ,-. w ..<::< r. (A. ird. con 
in )i»T(V aNv.:: j.^tso?- r ..: .■;~-.. ■■.i,:;^ Clbw 

mrn;> Ss,-. >;■<,;- ■,■ (\:st:-. h ..-..c I! .-..fc*: siwUl 
"* Vbr .^w,:■.^.^:>.-. .-.. S r .' ..■ ■ ^ : a— ..'.:.v. m :..- n.i<*c litr | 
lit«n »tv;;rs: Os:v T'fx-. " .•.> : \'i :• ■:■.. / » t-r ;T.a; wriu 
^■»i;ih«*r.: .-.; ^'xrw **,- : -f ■ T": 7. M,'-!- :-oiii Ciai 
»n.i i\i~: S.-^Ti -v>.v- "v, -.- ;;.- :..'.-►-,.; A?-!.'* » r.T-cr.' 
!»!■;. -.v.; i>.5.-.-^.«T ■ w;., ;. . ....: .1, .rr*. - 

tt upf 


was removed to the point formed by the confluence of the 
A&hley and Cooper rivers, and was dechired to be the capital 
for the general administration of government in Carolina. 

In December, 1077, Miller,a collector of the royal customs, 
in. attempting to reform some abuKes in Albemarle, became 
obnoxious to the people; and an insurrection followed. The 
insurgents, conducted chU-fly by Culpeper, imprisoned the 
president and seven proprietary deputies, seized the royal 
revenue, established courts of justice, appointed officers, 
called a parliament, and for two years exercised all the 
authority of an independent state. This insurrection, rather 
this bold attempt at revolution and self-government by the 
fourteen hundred colonists of Albemarle, deserves a further 
notice. We copy from Marshall : 

"The proprietors of Carolina, disaatisfiRd with their own system, 
applied lo the celebrated Mr. Ixvke for the plan of a constitution. They 
■nppot^d thiit this profoand and accurate reasoner munt be deeply 
skilled in the science of guvernmcnL In com^iliance with their request, 
he frnmed a body of fundamental laws, which were approved and 
adopted. A palatine for life was to be chosen from among the proprio- 
toTB, who was to act as president of the paktine court, which waa to be 
composed of all those who were entrusted with the execution of the 
IMS -! P"™^™ granted by the charter. A body of hereditary nobility 
j was created, to be denominated landgrares and caciquex, the 
former to be invested with four baronies, consisting each of four thou- 
aand acres, and the latter to have two, contaiLing each two thousand 
acres of land. These estates were to descend with the dignities forever. 
The provincial legislature, den^minaU^d a parliament, nas to consist of 
the proprietors, in the absence of any one of whom his place was to bo 
aupplied by a deputy appointed by himself, of the nobility, and of the 
representatives of the freeholders, who were elected by districts. These 
discordant materials were to compose a single body, which could initiate 
nothing. The bills to be laid before it were to be prepared in a grand 
council, composed of the goii'emor, the nobility, and the deputies of the 
proprietors, who were invested also with the execative powers. At the 
end of every century, the laws were to become vdd without the fbmtality 
of a repeal. Various judicatories were erected, and numerous miaiite 
perplexing regulations were made." 

The Duke of Albemarle was chosen th« finit pnlntinfl, And* 

1670 { ^^ philosophic Locke himself was created a land- 

( grave. When Governor Stephens attempted to in^- 

dnee, as he was ordered to do, this constitution in Albemarln 

the innovation Was strenaoasly opposed ; and the d 

42 ALBEM Alf^ Iin>EPB!rDEirr. 

it produced was increased by a rurooor that the proprieton 
designed to dismember the province. At length these diseon* 
tents broke oat into open insurrection, and resulted, as h 
been narrated, in the establishment, under Culpeper, of 
independent government. Thus furnishing, in the language 
of the same writer, additional evidence to the many affotded 
by history, of the great but neglected truth, that ezperienee 
is the only safe school in which the science of government is 
to be acquired, and that the theories of the closet roust have 
the stamp of practice, before they can be received with imp* 
plicit confidence. The truth is, the people of Albemarle were, 
perhaps of all communities, the least favourable for a fair 
experiment of the philosophic system of Mr. Locke. It con- 
tained scarcely a single feature suited to the wants of a 
primitive people. Most of its provisions were in conflict with 
their interests. They needed little legislation and less goT- 
emment, and heretofore they had legislated for and governed 
themselves. ** The representative principle, indeed the right 
of self-government, seems to have been, if not an inheritance 
to the Carolina colonists, certainly cognate and inborn. Thej 
were the * freest of the free.' Self-government was epidemie 
to them. It was inherited from them. It has descended 
without allov or adulteration to their descendants bevondthe 
mountain. Its contagion has afiected the original territorial 
boundaries of Carolina, has crossed the Mississippi, pervades 
all Texas, approaches Mexico and^alifornia, and can have 
its ardour quenched only by the waves of the Pacific. From 
the germ at Albemarle sprang, remotely, our independence ; 
and the seed sown in 1677, although it required the culture 
of ninety-eight years to bring it to maturity, continued to 
vegetate, till it produced the rich harvest of American ind^ 
pendence." * 

The proprietors, discovering the growing dissatisfaction of 

1^^ t the colbaists with the constitution of Mr. Locke, abol- 

) isfaed it, and wisely substituted the ancient form of 

While the grievances in Carolina were being redressed, 

* WmtcB before the var with Mi 

bacon's rebellion. 43 

discontents in Virginia assumed a serious aspect ; and about 
the same time that Gulpeper was revolutionizing Albemarle, 
a rebellion appeared at Jamestown, and was headed by 
Bacon, a member of the council. It was so far successful as 
to produce the flight of Governor Berkeley from the capital, 
a convention of the people, a new election of burgesses, and 
a new government. A civil war followed ; the insurgents 
burned Jamestown, and would probably have entirely sub- 
verted the authority of the governor, but for the sudden death 
of their daring leader. 

The pacification which followed the death of Bacon, was 
itnn S ^^^o^P^oi^d "^i^b increased emigration and an exten- 
I sion of the settlements into the valley of Virginia. In 
1090, they reached to the Blue Ridge, and explorations of the 
distant West were soon after undertaken. " Early in his ad- \ 
IW4 S n^J'^^^ration, Colonel Alexander Spotswood, Lieu- ^ 

( tenant-Governor of Virginia, was the first who passed 
the Apalachian mountains, or Great Blue Hills, and the gen- 
tlemen, his attendants, were called Knights of the Horseshoe, 
having discovered a horse pass," * ** Some rivers have been 
discovered on the west side of the Apalachian mountains, 
which fall into the River Ohio, which falls into the River 
Mississippi below the River Illinois." f It is said that Gov- 
ernor Spotswood passed Cumberland Gap during his tour of 
exploration, and gave the name to that celebrated pass, the 
mountain and the river, which they have ever since borne. 

Intestine wars prevailed among the numerous Indian tribes 
in Carolina, and the colonists, as the means of their own 
security, had fomented these disputes between the natives. 
As early as 1693, twenty chiefs of the Cherokee nation waited 
upon Governor Smith, and solicited the protection of his gov- 
ernment against the Esaw and Congaree (Coosaw) % Indians, 
who had lately invaded their country and taken prisoners. 
The governor Expressing a disposition to cultivate their 
friendship, promised to do what he could for their defence. 
In 1711, the Tuscaroras, Corees, and other tribes, attempted 
the extermination of the settlers upon Roanoke. One hundred 

• Snmmiry, historical and political, of British Settlements. Vol 2, p. 363 

t Idem. X Martin. 


and thirty-seven were massacred. The news of the disaster 
reaching Charleston, Governor Craven sent Colonel Barnwell, 
with six, hundred militia and nearly four hundred Indians, to 
their relief. These allies consisted, in part, of the Cherokees 
and Creeks. The Tuscaroras were subdued, and the hostile 
part of the tribe emigrated to the vicinity of Oneida Lake, 
and became the sixth nation of the Iroquois confederacy. 
** Thus the power of the natives was broken, and the interior 
forests became safe places of resort to the emigrant.'^ * 

The alliance between the colonists of Carolina and the 
aboriginal inhabitants, perhaps never cordial, was certainly 
of short duration. In less than five years after Colonel Barn- 
well's expedition against the Tuscaroras, every Indian tribe, 
from Florida to Cape Fear, had united in a confederacy for 
the destruction of the settlements in Carolina. The Con** 
garees, Catawbas, Cherokees and Creeks, had joined the 
Yamassees in this conspiracy. They had recently received 
presents, and guns and ammunition from the Spaniards at 
St. Augustine ; and it has been supposed that the defection of 
the Indians may be traced to their authority and seductive 
influence. The confederates, after spreading slaughter and 
desolation through the unsuspecting settlements, were met by 
1716 ^ Governor Craven at Salkehachie, and defeated and 
I driven across the Savannah. 

In 1 71 9, a domestic revolution took place in the southern 
part of Carolina. The proprietary government had, from the 
operation of several causes, become unpopular with the 
people. An association was therefore formed for uniting the 
whole province against the government of the proprietors, 
and '' to stand by their rights and privileges." The members 
elected to the assembly '' voted themselves a convention dele* 
gated by the people, and resolved on having a governor of 
their own choosing." The new form of government went 
into operation without the least confusion or-struggle.f 

In 1732, the province was divided into two distinct govern- 
ments, called NorthTCarolina and South-Carolina. 

In the meantime the French had extended their settlements, 
laid out Kaskaskias and other towns, and built several forts 

• Bancroft f ^^urtin. 


in the valley of the Mississippi, and established New-Orleans 
npon its bank. It had become evident that their intention 
was, not only to monopolize the Indian traffic in the West, 
but by a chain of forts on the great passes from Canada to 
the Gulf of Mexico, to confine the English colonies to narrow 
limits along the coast of the Atlantic, and, by their influence 
with the natives, to^ retard their growth and check their ex- 
pansion westward. Traders from Carolina had already pene- 
trated to the country of the Chickasaws and Choctaws, but 
had been driven from the villages of the latter by the influ- 
ence of Bienville, of Louisiana. By prior discovery, if not 
by conquest or occupancy, France claimed the whole valley 
of the Mississippi. '' Louisiana stretched to tlfe head-springs 
of the Alleghany and the Monongahela, of the Kenhawa and 
the Tennessee. Half a mile from the head of the southern 
branch of the Savannah river is Herbert's Spring, which 
flows to the Mississippi ; strangers* who drank of it would 
say they had tasted of French waters.^' This remark of Adair 
may probably explain the English name of the principal 
tributary of the Holston. Traders and hunters from Carolina, 
in exploring the country and passing from the head waters 
of Broad river, of Carolina, and falling upon those of the 
stream with which they inosculate west of the mountain, 
would hear of the French claim, as Adair did, and call it, 
most naturally, French Broad. 

M. Charleville, a French trader from Crozafs colony at 
1114 \ New-Orleans, came among the Shawnees then inhab- 
I iting the country upon the Cumberland river, and 
traded with them. His store was built upon a mound near 
the present site of Nashville, on the west side of Cumberland 
river, near French Lick Creek, and about seventy yards from 
each stream. M. Charleville thiis planted upon the banks of 
the Cumberland the germ of civilization and commerce, un- 
conscious that it contained the seminal principle of future 
wealth, consequence and empire. 

About this period the Cherokees and Chickasaws expelled 
the Shawnees from their numerous villages upon the lower 

At the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, the French 


built and garrisoned Fort Toalouse, Tombeckbee, in the 
country of the Ghoctaws, Assumption, on the Chickasaw 
Bluff, and Paducah, at jthe mouth of Cumberland, and trading 
posts at different points along the Tennessee riveri indicated 
future conflict of territorial rights, if not aggression and hos- 
tility between the English and French colonies. Colonial 
rivalry prompted each to ingratiate itself with and secure 
the trade and friendship of the native tribes. 

In pursuance of this policy. Governor Nicholson, in 1721, 
sent a message to the Cherokees, inviting them to a general 
congress, in order to treat of friendship and commerce. The 
chieftains of thirty-seven different towns met him. He made 
them presents, smoked with them the pipe of peace, laid off 
their boundaries, and appointed an agent to superintend 
their affairs. With the Creeks he also made a treaty of 
commerce and peace, and appointed an agent to reside 
among them. In 1730, the projects of the French, for uniting 
Canada and Louisiana, began to be developed. Already had 
they extended themselves northwardly from the Gulf of 
Mexico, and had made many friends among the Indians west 
of Carolina. To counteract their intentions, it was the wish 
of Great Britain to convert the Indians into allies or subjects, 
and to make with them treaties of union and alliance. For 
this purpose. Sir Alexander Cumming was sent out to treat 
with the Cherokees, who then occupied the lands about the 
head of Savannah and backward among the Apalachian 
mountains. They were computed to amount to more than 
twenty thousand, six thousand of whom were warriors. Sir 
\ Alexander having summoned the Lower, Middle, Valley 
I and Over-hill settlements, met in April the chiefs of all 
the Cherokee towns at Nequassee,''^ informed them by whose 
authority he was sent, and demanded of them to acknow- 
ledge themselves the subjects of his sovereign. King George, 
and to promise obedience to his authority. Upon which the 
chiefs, falling on their knees, solemnly promised obedience 
and fidelity, calling upon all that was terrible to fall upon 
them if they violated their promise. Sir Alexander then, by 

* Martin has it Reqnaasee. It is laid down on Adair's map among the moon- 
itim neaf Ihe sonroea of tiie Hiwaasee. 


their unanimons consent, nominated Moytoy* commander 
and chief of the Cherokee nation. The crown was brought 
from Tenassee,t their chief town, which, with five eagle tails 
and four scalps of their enemies, Moytoy presented to Sir 
Alexander, requesting him, on his arrival at Britain, to lay 
them at his majesty's feet. But Sir Alexander proposed to 
Moytoy, that he should depute some of his chiefs to accom- 
pany him to England, and do homage in person to the great 
king Six of them, accordingly, did accompany him, and, 
being admitted to the royal presence, promised, in the name 
of their nation, to continue forever his majesty's faithful and 
obedient subjects.;]; A treaty was then drawn up and exe- 
cuted formally,§ of friendship, alliance and commerce. With- 
' oat mentioning the Spaniards and French, it is plain that 
some of its provisions were intended to exclude their traders 
from any participation in trafiic with the Cherokees, and to 
prevent any settlements or forts from being made by them in 
their country. In consequence of this treaty, a condition of 
friendship and .peace continued for many years between this 
tribe and the colonists. 

In 1732, the colony of Georgia was projected, and the 
governor of it, Oglethorpe, effected a treaty with the Lower 
and Upper Creeks, a large tribe, numbering together betweea 
twenty and thirty thousand. To-mo-chi-chi was their chief, 
and with his queen and other Indians accompanied Ogle- 
thorpe to London. This alliance of the Creeks and Chero- 
kees with the colonists promised security from the approaches 
of the Spanish and French in Florida and Louisiana. 

These treaties, however, were not considered sufficient 
guarantees to the southern English colonies of permanent 
security and quiet. The tribes with which they had been 
negotiated were in close proximity with rfval nations, and 

* Moytoy of Telliqao, probably the modern Tellico. 

f TUs M the first place in any of the authorities we have consulted, that Tenaa- 
see is meatiooed. The town, thus called, was on the west bank of the present 
Little Tennessee river, a few miles above the mouth of Tellico, and afterward 
gmve the name to Tennessee river and to the state. 

t Hewitt 

g Bee Hewitt's History of South-Carolina for an aoooont of this treaty, and also 
the speech of one of the chiefs, Sldjagustah. 


were easily seduced from their fidelity to a distant monaral^ i 
by the machinations of French emissaries amongst tbedu j 
It was, therefore, deemed necessary to adopt further measurfli 
of protection and defence against future defection and attadb 
The Carotin as and Georgia were now royal provinces. . Tto 
crown had already granted them many favours and indiit 
gences for promoting their success and prosperity, and Ibr. 
securing them against external enemies. What further t^ 
vours they expected, may be learned from a memorial aoA 
representation of the condition of Carolina transmitted to 
his majesty, bearing date April 9, 1734, and signed by tlitt 
governor, president of the council, and the speaker of' 
assembly.* The memorial, after enumerating instances 
the royal care and protection of these distant parts of 
dominion, represents — 

" That being the southern frontier of aU his American po6ses8ioil%i 
they are peculiarly exposed to danger from tlie strong castle of Bt^^ 
Augustine, garrisoned by fuur hundred Spaniards, who have seven! ] 
nations of Indians under their subjection ; that the French have erectsA^ 
a considerable town near Fort Thoulous on Mobile river, and sev^il ' 
other forts and garrisons, somt* of which are not above three hundred 
miles from their settlement, and that their poss<^ons upon the Miaaii- 
sippi are strengthened by constant accessions from Canada ; that thev 
garrisons and rangers are producing disaffection to the English among 
the Indian tribes, one of which, the Choctaws, consists of above five 
thousand fighting men ; that they are paving the way for an invasion of 
the English colonies, by the erection of the Alabama fort in the oentro 
of the Upper Creeks, which is well garrisoned and mounted with four- 
teen cannon, and which, with the liberal presents they are making to 
them, has overawed and seduced them from their allegiance to the dA- 
tish crown, and from a dependence upon British manufactures for their 
supplies. An expedient is then proposed, to recover and confirm the 
Indiana to his raajef^ty^s interest, and that is, by presents to withdimir 
them from the French alliance, and by building forts araon^ them to 
enable us to rodu^ Fort Alabama, and prevent the Oherokees from 
joining our enemies and making; us a prey to the French and savages. 
The Cherokee nation has lately become very insolent to our traders, and 
we b^ leave to inform your' majesty that the building and mounting 
some forts among them may keep them steady in. their fidelity to n8| 
and that the means of the province are inadequate to its defence-^the 
militia of Carolina and Georgia not exceeding three thousand five hoxH 
dred men." 

The reaults of this memorial will be given at another 

» Hewitt 

.«. •■ 


• • • • 

. « • • • 

• ■ • • 

• ■ 

• •• 



place. In 1732, the country in the neighbourhood of Win^ 
Chester, Virginia, began to be settled. 

Louisiana had, in the meantime, reverted from the Missis* 
( sippi Company to the crown of France ; and it con- 
( tinned to be the policy of Louis to unite the extremes 
of his North American possessions by a cordon of forts 
along the Mississippi river. The Chickasaws had been an 
obstacle to the accomplishment of this purpose. They had 
resisted the insinuations of French emissaries, and were 
indeed considered unfriendly to them. It was, therefore, 
determined to subdue them. A joint invasion, carried into 
their country from opposite directions, by Bienville and D'Ar- 
taguette, terminated disastrously to France. A further inva- 
sion was projected, and 

''In the last of June, an army, oomposed of twelve hundred whitea^ 
( and twice that number of red and black men, took up its quar- 
( ters in Fort Assumption, on the bluff of Memphis ; the re* 
smitB from France — the Canadians — sunk under the climate. In th« 
March of next vear, a small detachment proceeded towards the Chickar 
taw country ; mey were met by messengers who supplicated for peacS| 
and Bienville gladly accepted the calumet The fort at Memphis was 
naed — ^the Chickasaws remained the undoubted lords of their country."* 

From Kaskaskia to Baton Rouge was a wilderness, and 
the present Tennessee was again without a single civilized 
inhabitant, two centuries after Europeans had visited it. 

In this year there was a handsome fort at Augusta, where 
{ there was a small garrison of about twelve or fifteen 
( men, besides officers. The safety the traders derived 
from this fort, drew them to that point. Another cause of the 
growth of the place, was the fertility of the lands around it. 
The Cherokee Indians marked out a path from Augusta to 
their nation, so that horsemen could then ride from Savan- 
nah to all the Indian nations. 

** The boundary line between the provinces of Virginia and North- 
( Carolina was this year continued, by commissioners appointed by 
( the legislatures of the respective provinces, to Holstein river, 
directly opposite to a place called the Steep Rock."f 

* Bancroft. 

t Martin. Una if the first time that this tributary of the Tennessee river is 
yitMaed. Haywood says it was o&lled Holston, from a man of that name wha 
mt diseoverad and lived upon it. 


The settlements in Virginia were gradually extended aloBg 
i *^^ beautiful valley in the direction of Tennessee. 
( Those of North-Carolina had reached the delightful 
country between the Yadkin and Catawba, and Port Dobbs 
was built in 1756, and had a small neighbourhood of farmers 
and graziers around it. It stood near the Yadkin, aboat 
twenty miles west of Salisbury,* and had been erected 
agreeably to the stipulations of a treaty held by Col. Wnddle 
with Atta-Culla-Culla, the Little Carpenter, in behalf of the 
Cherokees. It was usually garrisoned by fifty men. The 
Indians paid little regard to the treaty, as the next spring 
they killed some people near the Catawba. 

To prevent the influence of the French among the Indian 
tribes, it became necessary to build some forts in the heart 
of their country. This policy had been suggested to the 
crown by the authorities of South-Carolina, in their memo* 
rial, as already mentioned. A friendly message was received 
by Governor Glen from the chief warrior of the Over*hiil 
Settlements in the Cherokee nation, acquainting him that 

^ Some Frenchmen and theit allies were among their people, endee- 
Touring to poison their minds, and that it won Id be nt'cewary to hold a 

Sineral coDgress with the nation, and renew their former treaties of 
end»hip. Accordingly, the governor appointed a time and place tat 
holding a treaty.** 

Governor Glen needed no argument to convince him that 

i ^^ alliance with such a tribe was, under present cir- 

( cumstances, essential to the security of South-Caro* 

lina and her sister provinces, and, accordingly, in 1755, he 

met the Cherokee warriors and chiefs in their own country. 

^ After the usual ceremonies were over, the governor sat down under 
a spreading tree, and Chulochcullaf being chosen speaker for^tlie Chero- 
kee nation, took a seat bef«ide him. The other warriors, about five hun- 
dred in number, stood around them in solemn silence and deep atten- 
tion. The governor then arose and made a ppen^h in the name of hia 
king, representing his great power, wealth and goodness, and his particular 
regard for hia children, the Cherokees ; and added, that he had many 
presents to make to them, and expected them, in n^tum, to surrt*nder a 
share of their territories, and demanded lands to build two forts upon fai 
their country, to protect them against their enemies, and to be a retreat 

* WilKamsoD. 

f Prolably Atta-Gulla-Cuila, with whom CoL Waddle of North.CaroUna 
fof med a treatj. 


to their finends and allies. He represented to them the great poverty 
and wicked designs of the French, and hoped they would permit nona 
of them to enter their towns.* When the governor had finished hia 
speech, Chulocbculia arose, and, holding his bow in one hand, hia 
ahaft of arrows and other symbols in the other, spoke to the following 
efl^: 'What I now speak, our father, the great king, should hear. Wa 
are brothers to the people of Carolina — one house covers us all.' Then 
taking a boy by the hand, he presented him to the governor, saying— 
* We, our wives and our children, are all children of the great King 
Oeoige. I have .brought this child, that when he grows up he may 
remember pur agreement on this day, and tell it to the next generation, 
that it may be known forever.' Then, opening his bag of earth and 
laying it at the governor's feet, said — ' We freely surrender a part of our 
landa to the great king. The French want our possessions, but we will 
defend them while one of our nation shall remain alive.' Then shew- 
ing hia bows and arrows, he added — ' These are all the arms we can 
make for our defence. We hope the king will pity his children, tha 
CSierokees, and send us guns and ammunition. We fear not tha 
Fkench. Give us arms, and we will go to war against the enemies of 
the great king.' Then, delivering the governor a string of wampum in 
ocNQ&mation of what he had sud, he added — * My speech is at an end ; 
It is the voice of the Cherokee nation. I hope the governor will send 
ft to the kingi that it may be kept forever.' " 

At this treaty a large cession of territory was made to the 
kingy and deeds of conveyance were formally executed by 
the head men, in the name of the whole people. 

Soon after this cession, Governor Glen built Fort Prince 
George upon the Savannah, near its source, and three hun- 
dred miles from Charleston, and within gun-shot of an Indian 
town, called Keowee. It contained barracks for one hundred 
ihen, and was well mounted with cannon, and designed for 
a defence of the western frontier of the province. 

The earl of Loudon, who had been appointed commander 
{ of the king's troops in America, and governor of the 
I province of Virginia, came over in the spring of this 
year. He sent Andrew Lewis to build another fort on Ten- 
nessee river, on the southern bank, at the highest point of 
its navigation, nearly opposite to the spot on which Tellico 
Block House has since been placed, and about thirty miles 
fix>m the present town of Knoxville ; the fort was called, in 

• There is naaoa to believe that the French at this time had trading estaUish- 
ments oo tiie TennesBce river, about the Muscle Shoals, in close propin^aity with 
tlie Over-bill Cherokees, and that in their hunting, trapping and trading ezour- 
I, they bad aaoeoded to the centre of East Tennessee. 


honour of the earl, Fort Loudon. Lewis informed Governor 
Dobbs that, on his arrival at Chota, he had received the 
kindest usage from Old Hop, the Little Carpenter, and that 
the Indians in general expressed their readiness to comply 
with the late treaty with the Virginia commissioners (Byrd 
and Randolph). They manifested this disposition while the 
fort was building ; but when it was finished, and they were 
pressed to fulfil their engagements, and send warriors to 
Virginia, they equivocated. Lewis observed that the French 
and their Indian allies, the Savannahs, kept a regular cor* 
respondence with the Cherokees, especially those of the great 
town of Tellico. He expressed his opinion that some scheme 
was on foot for the distress of the English back settlers, and 
that the Cherokees greatly inclined to join the Frenoli. 
While he was at Chota, messengers had come to the Little 
Carpenter, (Atta-Culla-Culla,) from the Nantowees, the Sa^ 
vannahs, and the French at the Alabama fort. He took 
notice that the object of the communications were indas^ 
triously concealed from him, and that a great alteration in 
that chiefs behaviour towards him had ensued. In return, 
towards the latter part of September, a Frenchman, who 
had Jived a considerable time among the Cherokees, accom- 
panied by a Cherokee woman, who understood the Shawnee 
tongue, went from Chota to the Alabama fort, and to the 
Savannah Indians. The object of his visit to the French, 
was to press them for the accomplishment of a promise the 
commander of the fort had made, to send and have a fort 
built among the Cherokees, near the town of Great Tellico. 
The communication concluded, by observing that the Indians 
had expressed a wish that Captain Dennie, (Demer^ ?) *' sent 
by the Earl of Loudon, with a corps of two hundred men to 
garrison the fort, might return to Virginia, the Indians being 
displeased at seeing such a large number of white people, 
well armed, among them, expressing a belief that their 
intention was to destroy any small force that might be sent, 
in order to take the fort and surrender it to the French. On 
this information, Captain Hugh Waddle was sent with a 
small force to reinforce Captain Dennie."* 

* Martin. 


Fort Loudon was then estimated to be five hundred miles 
from Charleston, and Hewitt remarks, that it was a place to 
which it was very difficult at all times, but, in case of a war 
with the Cherokees, utterly impracticable, to convey neces- 
sary supplies. Prince. George and Loudon were garrisoned 
by the king's independent companies of infantry stationed 
there. ** The Indians invited artizans into Fort Loudon by 
donations of land, which they caus<'.d to be signed by their 
own chief, and, in one instance, by Governor Dobbs of North- 
Carolina."* ^ These stronghplds were garrisoned by troops 
from Britain ; and the establishment of these defences in the 
interior, led to the rapid accumulation of settlers in all the 
choice places in their neighbourhood.^t Loudon is remarka- 
ble as being the first fort or other structure erected in Ten- 
nessee by Anglo-Americans.]; 

The continued possession of Fort Du Quesne enabled the 
French to preserve their ascendancy over the Indians, and 
to hold undisturbed control over almost the entire country 
west of the Alleghany mountains. The spirit of Britain rose 
in full proportion to the occasion, and Mr. Pitt, in a circular 
letter to the colonial governors, promised to send a large 
force to America to operate by sea and land against the 
French, and called upon them to raise troops to assist in that 
measure. In furtherance of that object, Virginia, pushing 
her settlements south-west, and guarding and protecting 
them, as they advanced, by forts and garrisons, had built 
Fort Lewis near the present village of Salem, in Bottetourt 
county. In 1758, Col. Bird, in pursuit of the French and 
Indians, who had recently taken Vaux's Fort on Roanoke, 
marched his regiment, and built Fort Chissel and stationed 
a garrison in it. It stood a few miles from New river, near 
the road leading from what is since known as Inglis' Ferry. 

Col. Bird continued his expedition further, and erected an- 
other fort, in the autumn of this year, on the north bank of 
Holston, nearly opposite to the upper end of the Long Island, 
now the property of Col. Netherland. It was situated upon 

♦ Haywood. f Simma. 

% In Hajwood, the time of its erection is given in 1767. I have chosen to fi>l- 
l«v HmwiU, who vrote in 1779, and gives it as it is in the text, 1766. 


a beautiful level, and was built upon a large plan, with pro- 
per bastions, and the wall thick enough to stop the force. of 
small cannon shot. The gates were spiked with large nails, 
so that the wood was all covered. The army wintered there 
in the winter of 1758. The line between Virginia and 
North-Carolina had not then been extended beyond the Steep 
Rock. Long Island Fort was believed to be upon the terri- 
tory of the former, but as it is south of her line, the Virgi-J 
nians have the honour of having erected the second Anglo- 
American fort within the boundaries of Tennessee. 

In the spring of 1758, the garrison of Fort Loudon was 
augmented to two hundred men. In a few months, by the 
arrival of traders and hunters, it grew into a thriving 

In the meantime, the French garrison at Fort Du Quesne, 
\ ^®s^^*^^ '^y their Indian allies, and unequal to the 
I maintenance of the place against the army of Gene- 
ral Forbes that approached it, abandoned the fort, and es- 
caped in boats down the Ohio. The English took posses- 
sion of it, and, in compliment to the popular minister, called 
it Pittsburg. In the army of Forbes were several Cherokees, 
who had accompanied the provincial troops of North and 

" The capture of Fort Du Quesne, though a brilliant termination of 
the several campaigns so successfully prosecuted from the northern colo- 
nies against the French, was followed by disastrous consequences as to 
the frontier settlements in the south. The scene of action was only 
ehanged from one place to another, and the baneful influence of those 
active and enterprising enemies that had descended the Ohio, soon 
manifested itself in a more concentrated form among the Upper Chero- 
kees ; the interior position of whose country furnished facilities of imme- 
diate and frequent intercourse with the defeated and exasperated French- 
men, who now ascended the Tennessee river and penetrated to their 
mountain fastnesses. An unfortunate quarrel with the Virginians helped 
to forward their intrigues, and opened an easier access into the towns of 
the savages. The Cherokees, as before remarked, had, agreeably to 
their treaties, sent a number of their warriors to assist in the reduction 
of Du Quesne. Returning home through the back parts of Yiriginia, 
some of them, who had lost their horses on the expedition, laid hold on 
Buch as they found running at large, and appropriated them. The Vir- 
ginians resented the injury by killing twelve or fourteen of the unsus- 
pecting warriors, and taking several more prisoners. This ungrateful 
conduct, from allies whose frontiers they had defended and recovoredi 


aravued at once a spirit of deep reaentment and deadly retaliation.'' * 
* * "The flame soon spread through the upper towns. The garri- 
son of Fort Loudon, consisting of about two hundred men, under th« 
ooraoiand of Captains Demeri: and Stuart, was, from its remote position 
from the white settlements, the first to notice the dissffection of the 
Indians, and to suffer from it. The soldiers, as usual, making excur- 
■ions into the woods, to procure fr&^h provisions, were attacked by them, 
and some of them were killed. From tliis time such dangers threat- 
ened the garrison, that every one was confined within the small bonnda- 
ri'jB of the fort"! * * * "All communication with the settle- 
ments across the mountains, from whic& they received supplies, was cut 
x4Sj and the soldiers, having no other sources from which provisions 
oonld be obtained, had no prospect lefl them but famine or death. Par- 
ties of the young warriors rushed down upon the frontier settlements, 
and the work of massacre became general along the borders of Caro- 
lina.'*! • * * " Governor Lyttleton, receiving intelligence of these 
OQtmges, prepared to chastise the enemy, and summoned the militia of 
the province to asiserable at Congaree." * * * u^ treaty was 
inade afterwards, signed by the governor and only six of the head men ; 
in this, it was agreed that the twenty-two chieftains should be kept as 
hostages, confined in Fort Prince George, until the same number of 
Indians, guilty of murder, should be deHvered up, and that the Chero- 
kees shonld kill or take prisoner every Frenchman that should presume 
to oome into the naUon.'^§ 

The treaty, however, illy expressed the sentiment of the 
tribe. And, immediately after the return of the governor 
and the dispersion of his army from Fort Prince George, 
hostilities were renewed, and fourteen whites were killed 
within a mile of the fort. Under a pretence of procuring a 
{ release of the hostages, Oconostota approached and 
( surprised the fort, and faithlessly fired upon and killed 
its officers. Exasperated to madness by this outrage, the 
garrison fell upon the hostages, and killed them to a man. 
This was followed by a general invasion of the frontier of 
Carolina, and an indiscriminate butchery of men, women 
and children. 

f Hewitt. X Simms. 

ICblonel, afterwards General , Sumpter, accompanied Oconostota and bis 
GbevokM delegation on their visit to Charlestown. Returning with that distin- 
fiiWied ehief to the seat of his empire, he there found anions the Indians one 
Bnroo Des Johnnes, a Frendi Canadian, who spoke seven of the Indian lan- 
nages. Sumpter, suspecting the baron of being an incendiary sent to excite 
m several tribes to hostility against their white neighbours, with characteristic 
letohrtioD Arrested him ; taking him single-handed, n spite of the opposition of 
the Indiana, am], at much personal risk, carrying him piisoner to Fort Princa 
OMfge. Det Johnnes was afterwards sent to Charleston, where he was eiam- 
inad, and though not proved guilty, it was deemed expedient to send him to Eng- 


Prompt measures were adopted to restrain and piuiish 
these excesses. Application was made to the neighbouring 
provinces, North-Carolina and Virginia, for assistance, and 
seven troops of rangers were raised to patrol the frontiersi 
and the best preparation possible was made for chastising 
the enemy, so soon as the regulars coming from the north 
should arrive. Before the end of April, 1760, Colonel Mont- 
gomery landed with his troops, and, being joined by several 
volunteer companies, hastened to the rendezvous at Conga- 
rces, where he was met by the whole strength of the pro- 
vince, and immediately set out for the Cherokee country. 
His march wa^ spirited and expeditious. Little Keowee 
was surprised by a night attack, and every warrior in it put 
to the sword. Estatoe was reduced to ashes. Sugaw Town, 
and every other settlement in the lower nation, suffered the 
same fate. 

*' Montgomery, after the loss of but four men, advanced to the relief 
•f Fort Prince George, vfh\ch had been for some time invested by the 
savages. From this place a message was sent to the Middle Settle- 
ments, inviting the Cherokees to sue for peace, and also to Captains 
Demerd and Stuart, the commanding officers at Fort Loudon, request- 
ing them to obtain peace with the Upper Towns. Finding the enemy 
not disposed to listen to terms of accommodation, he determined to 
penetrate through the dismal wilderness between him and the Middle 
Towns." * * * "Captain Morrison^s rangers had scarcely entered 
the valley near Etchoe, when the savages sprang from their lurking den^ 
fired upon and killed the captain, and wounded a number of his men. 
A heavy fire began on both sides. The battle continued above an hour. 
Colonel Montgomery lost in the . engagement twenty men, and had 
seventy-six wounded. The Indians, it is believed, lost more. But the 
repulse was far from being decisive, and Colonel Montgomery, finding 
it impracticable to penetrate the woods further with his wounded men^ 
returned to Fort Prince George with his army, and soon after departed 
for New-York. 

^* In the meantime, the distant garrison of Fort Loudon, consisting 
of two hundred men, was reduced to the dreadful alternative of per- 
ishing by hunger or submitting to the mercy of the enraged Cherokees. 
The Governor of South-Carolina hearing that the Virginians had'under- 
taken to relieve it, for a while seemed satisfied, and anxiously waited to 
hear the news of that happy event. But they, like the Carolinians, were 
unable to send them assistance. So remote was the fort from any 
setUement, and so difficult was it to march an army through the barren 
wilderness, where every thicket concealed an enemy, and to carrv, at the 
tame time, sufficient supplies along with them, that Uie Virginians had 


dropped all thoughts of the attempt Ph>vi8ion8 being entirelj ex- 
luHUted at Fort Loudon, the garrison was upon the point of starving. 
t'or a whole month they had no other subsistence than the flesh of lean 
horMB and dogs, and a small supply of Indian beans, procured stealthily 
for them by some friendly Cherokee women. The officers had long 
endeavoured to animate and encourage the men with the hope of suo- 
eonr ; but now, being blockaded night and day by the enemy, and having 
no resource left, they threatened to leave the fort, and die at once by 
the hands of savages, rather than perish slowly by famine. In this ex- 
tremity, the commander was obliged to call a council of war to consider 
what was proper to be done ; when the officers were all of opinion, that 
it was impossible to hold out longer, and therefore agreed to surrender 
the fort to the Cherokees, on the best terms that could be obtained from 
ihem. For this purpose Captain Stuart, an officer of great sagacity and 
address, and much beloved by those of the Indians who remained in the 
British interest, procured leave to go to Chota, one of the principal 
towns in the neighbourhood, where he obtained the following terms of 
capitolation, which were signed by the commanding officer and two of 
the Cherokee chiefs. ' That the garrison of Fort Loudon march out 
with their arms and drums, each soldier having as much powder and ball 
as their officer shall think necessary for the march, and all the bag- 
gaffe they may choose to carry ; that the garrison be permitted to march 
to Virginia or Fort Prince George, as the commanding officer shall think 
proper, unmolested ; and that a number of Indians be appointed to 
«Mort them, and hunt for provisions during the march ; that such sol- 
diers aa are lame, or by sickness disabled from marching, be received 
into the Indian towns, and kindly used until they recover, and then be 
allowed to return to Fort Prince George ; that the Indians do provide for 
the garrison as many horses as they conveniently can for their march, 
agreeing with the officers and soldiers for payment ; that the fort, great 

SDB, powder, ball and spare arms, be delivered to the Indians without 
ud or further delay, on the day appointed for the march of the 

*^ Agreeable to this stipulation, the garrison delivered up the fort, and 
marched out with their arms, accompanied by Ocouostota, Judd's 
ftiendy the prince of Chota, and several other Indians, and that day went 

* Great inms. Of these there were twelve. It is difficult to conceive how the 
CinnoD of Fort Loudoo, in 1756, had been transported to a point so interior and 
ioMoesible. A wa^on had not then passed the head of HoUton, and not till the 
autumn of 1776 had one come as low down that stream as the Long Island, with 
nroviaoiis for the supply of Fort Patrick Henrv. Artillery could not have been 
bioq^ down the Ohio and up the Tennessee, for after the loss of Du Qucsne the 
Freodi stiU held undisturbed possession of the rivers below. The cannon at Lou- 
doo were most probably taken there across the mountain from Augusta or Fort 
Priooe George wnen reinforcements were sent to its relief In this case the trans- 
portatkn of the great guns must have been made along a narrow mountain trace 
vpeo pack horses — requiring in the more difficult gorges even yet found in the in- 
terrmuDg country, the assistance of the soldiers. It is barely possible that those 
CMBwn may have been brought from Fort Lewis or Fort Chissel, to the head waters 
ef Holaton, and carried down that stream, and up the Little Tennessee to Loudon. 
~ I no tradition on the subject in Tennessee. 


fifteen miles on their way to Fort Prince George. At night Hbay 
oamped upon a plain about two nailes from Taliquo, an Indian towii| 
when all their attendants, upon one pretence or another, left them ; 
which the officers considered as no good sign, and therefore placed a 
strict guard around their camp. During the night they remained nit- 
molested, but next morning alH>ut break of day, a soldier ^m an oat- 
post came running in, and informed them that he saw a vast number of 
Indians, armed and painted in the most dreadful manner, creeping 
among the bushes, and advancing in order to surround them. Scaroelj 
had the officer time to order his men to stand to their arms, when tha 
savages poured in upon them a heavy fire from different quarters^ ac- 
companied with the most hideous yells, which struck a panic into the 
soldiers, who were so much enfeebled and dispirited that they were in- 
capable of making any efl^tual resistance. Captain Demer6, with three 
other officers, and about twenty-six privates, fell at the first onset. Some 
fled into the woods, and were afterwards taken prisoners and confined 
among the towns in the valley. Captain Stuart and those that remained, 
were seized, pinioned, and brought back to Fort Loudon. No sooner 
had Aj;takullakulla heard that his fiiend Mr. Stuart had escaped, than 
he hastened to the fort, and purchac»ed him from the Indian that took 
him, giving him his rifle, clothes, and all he could command by way of 
ransom. He then took possession of Captain Demer^'s house, where he 
kept his prisoner as one of his family, and fi*eely shared with him the 
little provisions his table afibrded, until a Mr opportunity should ofier 
ioT rescuing him fix)m the hands of the savages ; but the poor soldiers 
were kept in a miserable state of captivity for some time, and then re- 
deemed by the province at great expense. 

" While the prisoners were confined at Fort Loudon, Oconoetota 
fi^rmed the design of attacking Fort Prince George. To this bold under- 
taking he was the more encouraged, as the cannon and ammunition sur- 
rendered by the garrison would, under the direction of French offioen 
who were near him, secure its success. Messengers were therefore dis- 
patched to the valley towns, requesting their warriors to meet him at 

^ By accident a discoveiy was made of ten bags of powder, and a 
large quantity of ball that had been secretly buried in the fort, to pre- 
vent their falling into the enemy's hands. This discovery had nearly 
proved fatal to Captain Stuart ; but the interpreter had such presence 
of mind as to assure the incensed savages that these warhke storee 
were concealed without Stuart's knowledge or consent. The supply of 
ammunition being sufficient for the siege, a council was held at 
Chota, to which the captive Stuart was taken. Here he was reminded 
of the obligations he was under for having his life spared, and as they 
had determined to take six cannon and two cohoms against Prince 
Geor^, the Indians told him he must accompany the expedition — ^man- 
age the artillery -and wrjte such letters to the commandant as they 
should dictate to him. They further informed him that if that officer 
should refuse to surrender, they had determined to bum the prisoners 
one by one before his face, and try whether he could be so obstinate as 
to hold out while his friends were expiring in the flames. 


** Captain Sttlart was much alarraed at his present sitnation , and from 
that moment resolved to make his escape or |)eri»h in the attempt He 
•privately communicated his design to Attakullakulla and told him that 
the thought of bearing arms against his countrymen harrowed his feel- 
ings, and he invoked his assistance to accomplish his release. The old 
warrior took him by the hand — told him he was his friend, and was 
folly apprised of the designs of his countrymen, and pledged his efforti 
to deliver him from danger. AttakullHkulla claim^^d Captain Stuart as 
his prisoner, and resorted to stratagem to rescue him. lie told the 
other Indians that he intended to go a hunting for a few days, and to 
take his prisoner with him. Accordingly they departed, accompanied 
bj ihe warrior's wife, his brother and two soldiers. The distance to the 
firontier settlements was great, and the utmost expedition was necessary 
to prevent surprise from Indians pursuing thom Nine days and nights 
did they travel through a dreary wilderness, shaping their course by the 
Ban aod moon for Virginia. On the tenth they arrived at the banks of 
Hokton*8 river, where they fortunately fell in with a party of three 
hnodred men, sent out by Colonel Bird for the relief of Fort Loudon. 
On the fourteenth day the captain reached Colonel Bird's camp on the 
ihrntiera of Virginia. His faithful friend, AttakullakuUa, was here loaded 
with presents and pro\isions, and sent back to protect the unhappy prisr 
bnera till they should be ransomed, and to exert his influence widi the 
Gherokees for the restoration of peace." 

After Captain Stuart^s escape, he lost no time in concert- 
ing' measures of relief to his garrison. An express was at 
once forwarded to the Governor of South-Carolina to inform 
him of the disaster at Fort Loudon, and of the designs of the 
enemy against Fort Prince George. The prisoners that had 
sarvived the hardships of hunger, disease and captivity, at 
London, were ransomed and delivered up to the commanding 
officer at Fort Prince George. 

This account of the siege and capitulation of Fort Loudon, 
and of the attack upon the retiring garrison, has been copied 
or condensed from " Hewitt's Historical Account of South- 
Carolina and Georgia,'' as republished in the valuable his- 
torical collection of Carroll. Being written in 1779, soon 
aftor the transactions which it relates took place, Hewitt's 
work is considered authentic, and may be fully relied on 
as being generally correct. Still in some of the details other 
bbtorians differ from him. One of them gives another ver- 
rion of the assault upon the camp the morning after the 
evacuation of the fort. Haywood says: ''At this place, 
about day-break, the Indians fell upon and destroyed the 
whole troop, men, women and children, except three men, 


Jack, Stuart and Thomas, who were saved by the friendly 
exertions of the Indian chief called the Little Carpenter ; ex- 
cept also, six men, who were in the advance guard, and who 
escaped into the white settlements." * * * " It is said 
that between two and three hundred men, besides women 
and children, perished in this massacre. The Indians made 
a fence of their bones, but after the war they were, by the 
advice of Oconostota, King of the Over-hill Cherokees, removed 
and buried, for fear of stirring afresh the hostility of the 
English traders, who began again to visit them." Such, too» 
has been the prevalent tradition. 

In addition to the concealment within the fort of the am- 
munition, as already related, Haywood mentions that the 
garrison threw their cannon, with their small arms and am** 
munition, into the river. After the close of the war the 
Cherokees excused their perfidy in violating the terms of the 
capitulation, and their barbarous massacre of the garrison, 
by imputing bad faith on the part of the whites in hiding the 
warlike stores surrendered with the fort. 

Associations connected with Loudon as the first English 
fort erected within the State of Tennessee, the mournful fate 
of its garrison, and the tragic issue of the earliest Anglo- 
American settlement planted upon our soil, have invested the 
history of Old Fort Loudon with a romantic and melancholy 
interest — one that may be deemed elsewhere disproportioned 
to its real importance. But the writer persuades himself 
that the tediousness of the preceding details — scarcely in 
consonance with the object of these annals — will be excused, 
when it is considered, that hereafter no opportunity will 
present itself of again recording 4he surrender of a fort or 
the capture and massacre of a garrison. In the narration of 
the events upon which he will soon enter, it will be the 
grateful duty of the annalist to show, that in all their border 
conflicts, in their wild adventures into the wilderness, in 
their frequent invasions of neighbouring tribes, in their glo^ 
rious participation in the struggle for independence and free- 
dom, in all their wars with European or American enemies, 
the sons of Tennessee have every where achieved success, 
triumph, victory, conquest and glory. 


The indecisive battle at Etchoe and the catastrophe in' the 
valley of the Tennessee, served only to stimulate Cherokee 
aggression; and Canada being now reduced, an adequate 
force was at once sent from the north for the defence of the 
floathern provinces. Col. Grant, early in 1761, arrived in 
Charleston with the British regular troops. A provincial 
regiment had been raised, and it accompanied the army to 
the Cherokee country. Among its field officers were Mid- 
dleton, Laurens, Moultrie, Marion, Huger and Pickens — after- 
wards so highly distinguished in the service of the country. 
The army arrived at Fort Prince George on the 27th of May. 
Attakullakulla hearing that a formidable army approached 
his nation, hastened to the camp of Col. Grant and proposed 
( terms of accommodation. But it was known that the 
I temper of his countrymen was averse to peace, and his 
proposals received no encouragement. 

** The Cherokees encountered Grant, with all their strength, near the 
town of Etehoe, on the %pot where they had fought with Montgomery 
ID the proTiona campaign. For three hours did the engagement con- 
tinne, until the persevering valour of the whites succeeded in expelling 
ihe Indians from the field. ****** Their granaries a^ 
eom fields were destroyed, and their miserable femilies driven to the 
boren mountains. The national spirit was, for a while, subdued, and 
they humbly sued for peace, through the medium of the old and 
fiiondly chief, Attakullakulla. * I am come,' said the venerable chie^ 
*to see what can be done for my people, who are in great distress.' 
Ks prayer was granted, peace was ratified between the parties, and ths 
sad of this bloody war, which was supposed to have originated in the 
machinations of French emissaries, was among the last humbling blows 
given to the expiring power of France in North America. 

•• The peace which followed this victory over the Cherokees, and the 
ezpnision of the French and Spaniards from the borders of the southern 
provinces, brought with it a remarkable increase of population and 
prosperity. Multitudes of emigrants from Europe and the middle 
provincee came out in rapid succession to the interior, and pursuing the 
devkras progress of the streams, sought out their sources, and planted 
their little settlements on the sides of lofty hills, or in the bosom of 
lovely vallies.''* 

Emigrants from Ireland sought the wilds of America, 
throDgh two avenues. The one by the Delaware Bay, whose 
chief port was Philadelphia — the other by a more southern 
landing — the port of Charleston. Those landing at the 



latter place, immediately sought the fertile forests of the 
upper Carolinas, where they met a counter tide of emigra- 
tion. Those who landed on the Delaware, after the desira- 
ble lands, east of the AUeghanies, in Pennsylvania, were 
occupied, turned their course southward, and soon meeting 
the southern tide, the stream turned westward to the wilder- 
ness long known as *' the backwoods, or beyond the moun- 
tains," now as Tennessee. These two streams from the 
same original fountain — Ireland — meeting and intermingling 
in the new soil, preserve the characteristic difference ; the 
one possessing much of the air and manner of Pennsyiva- 
Ilia, and the other of Charleston.* 

But, as yet, Tennessee was a desert and a wilderness. The 
Adelantado of Cuba and his proud cavaliers had, indeed^ 
looked upon its south-western angle, but resisted with 
unyielding spirit by the aboriginal inhabitants, the chivalry 
of Spain were driven across its western boundary, and glad 
to escape savage resentment for their during invasion, buried 
themselves in the solitudes beyond it. At a later period, La 
Salle and his voyageurs had coasted along the shores of the 
great mediterranean of the west, and claimed for the mon- 
arch of France the magnificent valley watered by its tribu- 
taries ; and Marquette, in his pious zeal for his church, had 
attempted the conversion of the natives from heathenism 
and barbarity to the worship of the God of Heaven. Later 
still, England and her colonies had penetrated far into the 
western wilds, and erected a fort and planted an infant set- 
tlement upon the distant banks of the Tennessee. But the 
efforts of Spain, of France, and of England, had been alike 
ansuccessful in founding, upon the soil of Tennessee, a per^ 
manent establishment of civilized man. The colonists of 
the Carolinas and of Virginia had been steadily advancing 
to the west, and we have traced their approaches in the 
direction of our eastern boundary, to the base of the great 
Apalachian range. Of the country beyond it, little was 
positively known or accurately understood. A wandering 
Indian would imperfectly delineate upon the sand, a feeble 



outline of its more prominent physical features — its magnifi- 
cent riverSy'witli their numerous tributaries — its lofty moun- 
tains, its dark forests, its extended plains and its vast extent 
A voyage in a canoe, from the source of the Hogohegee* to 
the Wabash,f required for its performance, in their figurative 
language, ''two paddles, two warriors, three moons." The 
Ohio itself was but a tributary of a still larger river, of 
^vrhose source, size and direction, no intelligible account 
oould be communicated or understood. The Muscle Shoals 
And the obstructions in the river above them, were repre- 
sented as mighty cataracts and fearful whirlpools, and the 
Sttck, as an awful vortex. The wild beasts with which the 
illimitable forests abounded, were numbered by pointing 
to the leaves upon the trees, or the stars in a cloudless 

These glowing descriptions of the west seemed rather to 
Vtinialate than to satisfy the intense curiosity of the approach- 
ing settlers. Information more reliable, and more minute, 
was, from time to time, furnished from other sources. In the 
Atlantic cities, accounts had been received from French and 
Spanish traders, of the unaparalleled beauty and fertility of 
the western interior. These reports, highly coloured and 
amplified, were soon received and known upon the frontier. 
Besides, persons engaged in the interior traffic with the south- 
western Indian tribes had, in times of peace, penetrated 
their territories — traded with and resided amongst the 
natives — and upon their return to the white settlements^ con- 
firmed what had been previously reported in favour of the 
distant countries they had seen. As early as 1690, Doherty, 
a trader from Virginia, had visited the Gherokees, anTafter* 
wards lived among them a number of years. In 1730, Adair, 
from South-Carolina, had travelled, not only through the 
towns of this tribe, but had extended his tour to most of the 
nations south and west of them. He was not only an enters 
prising trader, but an intelligent tourist. To his observa- 
tions upon the several tribes which he visited, we are 
indebted for most that is known of their earlier history. 
They were published in London in 1775. 

• Holston. t The Ohio was known many jreara by this name. 


In 1740 other traders went among the Cherokees from 
Virginia. They employed Mr. Y^ugban as a packman, to 
transport their goods. West of Amelia county, the country 
was then thinly inhabited ; the last hunter's cabin that he 
saw was on Otter river, a branch of the Staunton, now in 
Bedford county, Va. The route pursued was along the Great 
Path, to the centre of the Cherokee nation. The traders and 
packmen generally confined themselves to this path till it 
crossed the Little Tennessee river, then spreading themselves 
out among the several Cherokee villages west of the moan- 
tain, continued their traffic as low down the Great Tennessee 
as the Indian settlements upon Occochappo or Bear Creek, 
below the Muscle Shoals, and there encountered the compe- 
tition of other traders, who were supplied from New-Orleans 
and Mobile. They returned heavily laden with peltries, to 
Charleston, or the more northern markets, where they were 
sold at highly remunerating prices. A hatchet, a pocket 
looking-glass, a piece of scarlet cloth, a trinket, and other 
articles of little value, which at Williamsburg could be 
bought for a few shillings, would command from an Indian 
hunter on the Hiwassee or Tennessee peltries amounting in 
value to double the number of pounds sterling. Exchangei 
were necessarily slow, but the profits realized from the ope- 
ration were immensely large. In times of peace this traffic 
attracted the attention of many adventurous traders. It 
became mutually advantageous to the Indian, not less than 
to the white man. The trap and the rifle, thus bartered for, 
procured, in one day, more game to the Cherokee hunter than 
his bow and arrow and his dead-fall would have secured 
during a month of toilsome hunting. Other advantaees 
resulted from it to the whites. They became thus acquaint- 
ed with the great avenues leading through the hunting 
grounds and to the occupied country of the neighbouring 
tribes — an important circumstance in the condition of either 
war or peace. Further, the traders were an exact thermo- 
meter of the pacific or hostile intention and feelings of the 
Indians with whom they traded. Generally, they were for- 
eigners, most frequently Scotchmen, who had not been long 
in the country, or upon the frontier, who, having experienced 


none of the craelties, depred ations or aggressions of tlie 
Indians, cherished none of ti^^^^wrint and spirit of reta^ 
liation bom with, and ever^^^^^ the Ameri' 
can settler. Thus, free fro^^^^Hty agninst the abori^- 
nes, the trader was alIo\v-ec^ in the village where 
he traded unmolested, even when its warriors were singing 
the war song or hrandishing the war club, preparatory to an 
invasion or massacre of the whites. Timely warning was 
thns often given by a returning packman, to a feeble and 
nnsospecting settlement, of the perSdyand emelty meditated 
against it. 

This gainful oommeree was, for a time, engrossed by the 
traders ; bat the monopoly was not allowed to continue long. 
Their rapid acoamulations soon, excited the cupidity of an-. 
other class of adventurers ; and the huntVi in his turn, be- 
came a co-pfoneer with the trader, in the march of oiviliza* 
tion to the wilde of the West. As the agricultural popula- 
tion approached the eastern base of the AUeghanies, the 
game became scarce, and was to be found by severe toil in 
almost inaccessible recesses and coves of the moantain. 
Packmen, returning from their trading expeditions, carried 
with them evidences, not only of the abundance of game 
across the mountains, but of the facility with which it was 
procured. Hunters began to accompany the traders to the 
Indian towns ; but, unable to brook the tedious delay of pro- 
<siring peltries by traffic, and impatient of restraint, they 
struck boldly into the wilderness, and western-like, to use a 
western phrase, set up for themselves. The reports of their 
return, and of their successful enterprise, stimulated other 
advqpturers to a similar undertaking. "As early as 1748, 
Doctor Thomas Walker, of Virginia, in company with Colo- 
nels Wood, Fatten and Buchanan, and Captain Charles 
Campbell, and a number of hunters, made an exploring tour 
upon the western waters. Passing Powell's valley, he gave 
the name of ' Cumberland' to the lofty range of mountains 
on the west. Tracing this range in a south-western direc- 
tion, he came to a remarkable depression in the chain: 
through this he passed, o^jtMriy' Cumberland Gap.' On 
the western side of the nM^F^^Ijl a beautiful mountain 



Stream, which he nam ed * Cu mberland river,' all in hononr 
of the Duke of Cumb^Hj^faen prime minister of Eng- 
land.''* These name^^^^^^r since been retained, and, 
with Loudon, are belie^^^^^He only names in Tennessee 
of English origin. ^^1^^ 

Although Fort Loudon was erected as early as 1756, upon 
the Tennessee, yet it was in advance of any white settle^ 
ments nearly one hundred and fifty miles, and was» as has 
been related, destroyed in 1760. The fort, too, at Long Is- 
land, within the boundaries of the present State of Tennes- 
see, was erected in 1758, but no permanent settlements had 
yet been 'formed near it. Still, occasional settlers had began 
to fix their habitations in the south-western section of Vir- 
ginia, and, as early as 1754, six families were residing west 
of New River. ** On the breaking out of the French war, 
the Indians, in alliance with the French, made an irruption 
into these settlements, and massacred Burke and his family. 
The other families, finding their situation too perilous to be 
maintained, returned to the eastern side of New River ; and 
the renewal of the attempt to carry the white settlements 
farther west, was not made until after the close of that 

Under a mistaken impression that the Virginia line, whea 
( extended west, would embrace it, a grant of land was 
( this year made, by the authorities of Virginia, to Ed- 
mund Pendleton, for three thousand acres of land, lying in 
Augusta county, on a branch of the middle fork of the Indian 
river, called West Greek,!]: now Sullivan county, Tennessee. 
In this year. Doctor Walker again passed over Clinch' and 
{ Powell's river, on a tour of exploration into wh^ is 
( now Kentucky. 
The Cherokees were now at peace with the whites, and 
hunters from the back settlements began with safety to pe- 

* Monette The Indian name of this range was ViTaaioto, and of the riTer, 

f Howe. 

X The original patent, signed by Governor Dinwiddie, and now in the possewioii 
of the writer, was presented to Idm fay T. A. R. Nelson, Esq., of Joiiesbons Ten* 
nessee. It ia piobably the oldest grant in the state. 



I'rai \ "^^^^tc deeper and further into the wilderness of Ten- 
( nessee. Several of then^biefly from Virginia, hear- 
ing of the abundance of gameVith which the woods were 
stocked, and allured by the p||l»splcts of gain, which might be 
drawn from this source, formed themselves into a company, 
composed of Wallen, Scaggs, Blevins, Cox, and fifteen others 
and came into the valley, since known as Garter's Valley, in 
Hawkins county, Tennessee. They hunted eighteen months 
upon Clinch and Powell's rivers. Wallen's Creek and Wal- 
len's Ridge received their name from the leader of tl^ com- 
pany ; as, also, did the station which they erected in the 
present Lee county, Virginia, the name of Wallen^s Station. 
They penetrated as far north as Laurel Mountain, in Ken- 
tucky, where they terminated their journey, having met with 
a body of Indians, whom they supposed to be Shawnees. 
At the head of one of the companies that visited the West 
this year *' came Daniel Boon, from the Yadkin, in North- 
Carolina, and travelled with them as low as the place w&ere 
Abingdon now stands, and there left them." 

This is the first time the advent of Daniel Boon to the 
western wilds has been mentioned by historians, or by the 
fleveral biographers of that distinguished pioneer and hunter. 
There is reason, however, to believe that he had hunted upon 
Watauga earlier. The writer is indebted to N. Gammon, 
Esq., formerly of Jonesboro, now a citizen of Knoxville, for 
the following inscription, still to be seen upon a beech tree* 
standing in sight and east of the present stage-road, leading 
from Jonesboro to Blountsville, and in the valley of Boon's 
Creek, a tributary of Watauga. 

D. Boon 
OaiED A. BAR On 

in IhE 




68 WALKBE HUim ov OUirCH. 

Boon was eighty-six years old when he died, which was 
September, 1820. He wa^thus twenty-six years old when 
the inscription was madeftWhen he left the company of 
hunters in 1761, as mentionedS^bove by Haywood, it is pro- 
bable that he did so to revisit the theatre of a former hant 
upon the creek that still bears his name, and where hit 
camp is still pointed ont near its banks. It is not improba- 
ble, indeed, that he belonged to, or accompanied, the party 
of Doctor Walker, on his first, or certainly on his second, 
tour of exploration in 1760. The inscription is sufficient 
authority, as this writer conceives, to date the arrival of 
Boon in Tennessee as early as its date, 1700, thus preced* 
ing the permanent settlement of the country nearly ten 

In the fall of the next year Wallen and his company retnm- 

1762 \ ®^ ^ftin and hunted on the waters of Clinch; they 
( crossed the Blue Ridge at the Flower Gap, New ri- 
ver, at Jones's Ford, and the Iron Mountain at the Blue Spring ; 
they travelled down the south fork of Holston, and crossing 
the north fork and going to the Elk Garden, on the waters of 
Clinch, they discovered some Indian signs: they extended 
their journey, in the same direction, to the Hunters' Valley— 
so named from their travelling to and down it several days 
to Black- water Creek. They fixed their station-camp near the 
Tennessee line, and on the present road from Jonesville to Ro- 
gersville. Some of the same company travelled down to Greasy 
Rock Creek, and fixed a station-camp there. It stood near 
the present line between Hawkins and Claibourne counties.* 

This year Wallen's company ventured further into the in- 

1763 \ terior — passed through Cumberland Gap, and hunted 
( during the whole season on Cumberland river ; and 

*A s^nU signed Arthur Dobbe, Governor of the Province of North-CaroUiUi, 
William Beamer, Senr., Superintendent and Deputy Adjutant in and for the 
Cherokee Nation, and William Beamcr, Junr., Interpreter, and the Little Carpenter, 
Half King of the Cherokee Nation of the Oyer-hill Towns, and Matthew Tool, Inter- 
preter, made to Captain Patrick Jack, of the Province of Pennsylvania, is recorded io 
Register's office of Knox county. It purports to have been made at a council held at 
Tennessee river, March 1, 1757 ; and the consideration u^ four hundred dollars, and 
conveys to Captain Jack fifteen miles square south of Tennessee river. The grant 
itaelf^ confirmatory of the purchase by Jack, is dated at atveneral Council met at 
Catawba river. May 7, 1762, and is witnessed by Nathaniel Alexander. 


for the next several years continued to make fall hunts on 
Rockcastle river, near the Crab-Orchard, in Kentucky. 

Daniel Boon, who still lived on the Yadkin, though he had 
llU. i previously hunted on the western waters, came again 
( this year to explore the country, being employed for 
this purpose by Henderson ^ Company. With him came 
Samuel Callaway, his kinsman, and the ancestor of the re- 
spectable family of that name, pioneers of Tennessee, Ken- 
tacky and Missouri. Callaway was at the side of Boon when, 
approaching the spurs of the Cumberland Mountain^ and in 
▼lew of the vast herds of buffalo grazing in the vallies be- 
tween them, he exclaimed, ** I am richer than the man men- 
tioned in scripture, who owned the cattle on a thousand 
hills — ^I own the wild beasts of more than a thousand val- 

After Boon and Callaway, came another hunter, Henry 
Seaggins, who was also employed by Henderson. He extend- 
ed his exploration to the Lower Cumberland, and fixed his sta- 
tion at M ansco's Lick. 

^About the last of June, 1766, Col. James Smith set off to explore the 
J great body of rich lands, which, by conversing with the Indians, 
( he understood to be between the Ohio and Cherokee rivers, and 
lately ceded by a treaty made with Sir William Johnston, to the King 
of Great Britain. He went, in the first place, to Holston river, and 
thence travelled westwardly in company with Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone 
and William Baker, who came from Carlisle, Pa., — ^four in all — and a 
slave, aged 18, belonging to Horton. They explored the country south 
of Kentucky, and no vestige of a white man was to be found there, more 
than there is now at the head of the Missouri. They also explored Cum- 
berland and Tennessee rivers, from Stone's river down to the Ohio. 
Stone^a river is a branch of Cumberland, and empties into it eight or ten 
miles above Nashville. It was so named in the journal of these explorers, 
after Mr. Stone, one of their number, and has ever since retained the name. 
When they came to the mouth of Tennessee, Col. Smith concluded to re- 
tain home, and the others to proceed to the Illinois. They gave to CoL 
Smith the greater part of their powder and lead — amounting only to 
lialf a pound of the former, and a proportionate quantity of lead. Mr. 
Horton, also, left with him his slave : and Smith set off with him through 
the wilderness, to Carolina. Near a buf^o path, they made them a 
shelter ; but, fearing the Indians might pass that way and discover his 
fire place, he removed to a greater distance from it After remaining there 
mx weeks, he proceeded on his journey, and arrived in Carolina in Octo- 
ber. He thence travelled to Fort Chissel, and from there returned home 
to Conaoo^heague, in the fedl of 1767."* 

• Haywood. 


This exploration of Col. Smith was, with the exception of 
Scaggins'sy the first that had been made of the country ivest 
of Cumberland Mountain, in Tennessee, by any of the Anglo- 
American race. The extraordinary fertility of the soil upon 
the Lower Cumberland — the luxuriant cane-breaks upon the 
table-lands of its tributaries — its dark .ind variegated forest- 
its rich flora — its exuberant pasturage — in a word, the ex- 
act adaptation of the country to all the wants and purposes 
of a great and flourishing community, impressed the explorer 
with the importance of his discovery, and of its great valae 
to such of his countrymen as should al\orwards come in and 
possess it Not strange was it, that the recital of what he had 
seen during his long and perilous absence, should excite in 
Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvnnia, as he passed 
homeward, an urgent and irrepressible desire to emigrate to, 
and settle, this El Dorado of the West.* 

During this year John Findley, a fearless Indian trader from 
1H*I f North-Carolina, accompanied by several comrades, vis- 
( ited the West. Passing through Upper East Tennes- 
see to the Cumberland Gap ,he continued his explorations to 
the Kentucky river. 

Indeed, the spirit of exploration and adventure was now a 
mania: it had become an epidemic — numbering among its 
subjects every bold, fearless, daring, ambitious, intrepid back- 
woodsman. Companies of these, varying in number from two 
to forty, accumulated in rapid succession upon the border set- 
tlements, from the Monongahela to the »SavannaIi, and ex- 
cited in the minds of the more discreet and sagacious settlers, 
apprehension of renewed hostilities from the now friendly na- 
tives of the country. They clearly foresaw that an avalanche 
of population, concentrating thus upon the frontier, could not 
be restrained from precipitating itself across an ideal line-^ 
the feeble barrier that now separated the two races. These 
apprehensions were not without foundation. 

" The peace of 1763 had secured to Great Britain the right of terri- 
torial fiovereignty to the country east of the Mississippi, to which Franca 

* Colonel Crogfaan, b his Journal, May 31, 1765, pawning down the Ohio rirer, 
mentions '* the month of the river Kentucky, or Holsteo's rirer "* The bead cif 
Holston may previously have been seen, and probably was supposed to run in tte 
direction of the Kentucky river. 


hMd previoiiBlj asserted the paramount right of territory and dominion. 
The change of this right of dominion, whether real or imaginary, necessa- 
lilj fiidlitated the transrarigration of British colonists frcm their Atlantic 
settlements to the newly acquired territory on the western waters. * 
* * Bat the treaty of Paris had made no stipulation for the tribes 
who had been in alliance with France, and who claimed to be indepen- 
dent nations, and the real owners of the territory ceded by her. They 
liad been no party to the treaty of peace, and they refused to be bound 
by any transfer which the French King should make of their country to 
tne English. Every excursion, therefore, into their hunting grounds, 
was, at first, viewed with dissatisfaction and jealousy, and at a later 
period, resisted as an encroachment upon their rights and an invasion 
of their soil. This jealousy against the English colonists was the more 
sasily excited in the mincU of the Indians, as the French had always 
taken pains to impress upon them the inordinate desire and determina- 
tion of England to occupy their lands and to dispossess them of their 
whole country. To quiet, as far as possible, any discontent from this 
sonroe, and to remove any apprehension that the British government 
designed to extend its jurisdiction over the territory of the Indians, the 

Srodamation of King George was issued, Oct. 7, 1763, prohibiting all. y 
le provincial governors from granting lands, or issuing land warrants, ^ 
to be located upon any territory \\\ug west of the mountains, or west of 
the sources of those streams which flow into the Atlantic, and all settle- 
ments by the subjects of Great Britain, west of the sources of the Atlan- 
tic rivers. The proclamation of the king further ' strictly enjoined and 
required that no private persons do presume to purchase from the In- 
dians any lands, ice. And that if the Indians should be inclined to dis- 
pose of their lands, the same shall be purchased only for us, in our 
name, at some general meeting or assembly of the Indians, to be held for 
that purpose, by the governor or commander-in-chief of our colony 
respectively.' "* 

It was further directed and required, that ''all traders 
should take out licenses from their respective governors, for 
carrying on commerce with the Indians." In accordance, 
also, with the provisions of this proclamation, the boundaries 
of the Indian hunting grounds were fixed, and a superinten- 
dent of Indian affairs was appointed for the southern district* 
This office was conferred upon Captain John Stuart, who, 
as- we have already seen, owed his life, at the massacre of the 
garrison at Fort Loudon, to the clemency and interposition 
of his captor, a Cherokee chief. 

However well intended, this proclamation of the distant 
king was a dead letter. In the back woods of America, it 
received no hearty response— exacted not the lowest whisper 


72 ymanriA omAim lahm oir thi ohio. 

of obedience. It was every where, and by all classes of 
disregarded. Masses of population were, npon the western 
boundary of all the middle and southern colonies, ready and 
impatient for the occupancy of the new lands in the wilderness. 
Hunters and traders had discovered and explored them. They 
knew the avenues by which they could be reached, and had 
spread abroad among their countrymen enchanting accoants 
of their value and beauty. Another circumstance hastened 
the more perfect exploration and future settlement of tl^ 
western country. It was the bounty given in these very 
lands, by several of the provinces, with the approbation of 
the crown, to the officers and soldiers who had served in the 
British army, in their wars with the French and their Indian 
allies.* These, with the script and military warrants in 
their hands, and accompanied by hundreds of surveyors and 
agents, were constantly employed in selecting and locating 
their respective claims. The proclamation of the king could 
not deter them from their locations and surveys. Even the 
wise and virtuous George Washington and Chancellor Li- 
vingston admitted it to be intended merely to quiet the jealous 
apprehensions of the Indians, against the advance of the 
white settlements on the western side of the mountains. It 
was not, in any wise, designed, really, to check the ultimate 
occupation of the country. Virginia, viewing the procla- 
mation in no other light than as a temporary expedient to 
quiet the minds of the Indians, soon afterwards patented 
considerable tracts of land on the Ohio, far beyond the Apa- 
lacbian mountains.f Thus the discontents of the Indiana 
were increased, and by the opening of the spring of 1768, 
along the whole line of the western frontier, from the sources 
of the Susquehannah to those of the Tennessee, they became 
exasperated, and united in their determination to check fur- 
her encroachments, and to enforce an observance of their 
rights ; still they refrained from open hostilities, while the 

* By the proclamation of the king, the govemon were directed to grant " to 
erery person having the rank of a field officer, 6000 acres ; to every captain, 8000 
Seret ; to every subaltern or staff officer, 2000 acres ; to every non-commissionad 
officer, 200 acres ; and to every private, 50 acres. 

t See Sparks's writings of Washington. 


restless popalation of the Atlantic border continued to press 

forward into the west, regardless, alike of the rights of the 

Indians and the proclamation of the king, issued five years 


At the recommendation of Grov. Tryon, an appropriation 

1767 i ^^^ made by the Province of North-Carolina, on the 

( application of the Cherokee nation, for running a 

dividing line between the western settlements of the pro> 

vince and their hunting grounds, and the governor was 

authorized to appoint three commissioners for that purpose. 

'^ Ii May of this year, an appeal was made to the prpper autho- 
( rities, to restrain further encroachments on the part of the frontier 
( people, upon the lands claimed by the Indians. Some of the 
settlements now being formed upon the head of the Kenhawa, and the 
north fork of Holston, were upon territory to which the Indian title had 
not been extinguished, and parties of woodmen, explorers, and surveyors, 
were distributed in the Tallies below, preparatory to a further occupancy. 
The superintendents of Indian affidrs were, accordingly, instructed by 
the royal government to establish the boundaries between the whites 
and the Indians, and to purchase from the latter the lands already occu- 
pied by the king's subjects. But what tribe owned these lands ? Who 
were the proprietors of the soil !" 

At the time of its earliest exploration, the country east and 
north of the Tennessee river was not in the occupancy of 
any Indian tribe. Vestiges were then found, and, indeed, 
still remain, of an ancient and dense population — indicating 
higher progress in civilization and the arts than has been 
attained by more modern tribes in this part of the con- 
tinent. A fresh hunting camp was occasionally found, 

^ But in their frequent peregrinations and trading expeditions through 
the vast territories between the Ohio and the Tennessee rivers, the first 
traders, hunters and explorers never found, within that extent of coun- 
try, a single wigwam or modern Indian village. The Indian settlements 
nearest to the frontier border of the Carolinas, and of south-western' 
Virginia, were on the Sciota and Miami, in the north, and on the waters 
of the Little Tennessee in the south. From these points the various 
war or hunting parties issued, to engage in the one or the other pursuit, 
as the passions or the opportunities of their expeditions might lead. 
Here the Choctaws, Chickasaws or Cherokees, of the south, used to 
engage with the various tribes of the Miami Confederacy, of the north ; 
here they indulged thsir. nsiiiOD Idt hunting, in the profusion of game 
afforded by TenneMse <>HkJbfeiM||^ That part of these two states 
embraced within the boMllJ^^^^HfeBedy was one great park, where 


the skill of the uncivilised haoter was praetioed, Mid a central theafanti 
upon which the desperate conflicts of savage warriors and hloodj rivula 
were perpetrated. JBy common agreement of all the surrounding tribes, 
this whole section of country seems to have been reserved for these 
purposes, from permanent occupancy ; and so much was it exempted 
from settlement, that south of the Ohio, and north and east of the Ten- 
nessee, it is not known that a single village was settled by the Indians ; 
yet no situations have generally delighted savage tribes, so much as the 
margins of water courses ; the opportunities of navigation, and of fishing, 
unite to attract them to such spots. Some known and acknowledged 
ihhibition must have, therefore, prevented the settlement and possession 
of this great Mesopotamia. W hat was it ? On this subject, tradition 
and history are alike indistinct and unsatisfactory."* 

At the point of time to which these annals have reached, 
the territory of which we are speaking was claimed, though 
not occupied, by the Confederacy of the Six Nations. These 
were called by the early French historians, Iroqouis, and by 
the English, Mohawks. In 1672 these tribes conquered the 
Illinois and Shawanee Indians, the latter of whom were also 
incorporated with them. To these 'conquests they added, in 
1685, that of the Miamis, and about the same time carried 
their victorious arms westward to the Mississippi, and south* 
ward to what is now Georgia. In 1711 they incorporated 
with them the Tuscaroras, when expelled from North-Caro" 
Iina.t Gov. Pownal, in his *' culministration of the British 
Colonies," says that these tribes carried their arms as far 
south as Carolina and as far west as the Mississippi, over a 
vast country, twelve hundred miles in length and six hun* 
dred in breadth, where they destroyed whole nations, of whom 
there are no accounts remaining among the English : and, 
continues the same writer, the rights of these tribes to the 
hunting lands on the Ohio may be fairly proved by their con- 
quests over the Shawanees, Delawares, &c., as they stood 
possessed thereof at the peace of Ryswick, in 1607. In fur- 
ther confirmation of this Indian title. Butter adds : 

^ It must be mentioned that Lewis Evans represents, in his map of the 
Middle Colonies of Great Britain, the country on the south-easterly side 
of the Ohio river, as the hunting lands of the Six Nations. In the analy- 
sis to his map, he expressly says that the Shawneese, who were onoe a 
most considerable nation, have been subdued by the confederates, and 

• Batlei'8 Keotneky. t Botler. 


their oountiy baa sinoe become their property. At a celebrated treatf , 
held more than a centuiy since iEtt Lancaster, the statement made by the 
delegates in attendance from the Six Nations to Dr. Franklin, was, *• that 
all the world knows that we conquered all (he nations back of the great 
mountains ; we conquered the nations residing there, and that land, if 
the Viiginians ever get a good right to it, it must be by ns.' These In- 
dian claims are solemnly appealed to in a diplomatic memorial, addressed 
by the British ministry to the Duke Mirepoix, on the part of France, June 
7, 1755. 'It is a certain truth, states the memorial, that these lands 
ha^ belonged to the Confederacy, and as they have not been given up 
or made over to the English, belong stiU to the same Indian Nations.' 
The court of Great Britain maintained, in this negotiation, that the con- 
federates were, by origin or by right of conquest, the lawful proprietors 
of the river Ohio and the territory in question. In support of this an- 
oient aboriginal title, Butler adds the further testimony of Dr. Mitchell's 
map of North America, made with the documents of the Colonial office 
before him. In this map, the same as the one by which the boundaries in 
the treaty of Paris, in 1783, were adjusted, the Doctor observes, * tliat 
the Six Nations have extended their territories ever since the year 1672, 
when they subdued and were incorporated with the ancient Shawaneese, 
the $uiUve proprietors of these countries.' This, he adds, is con6rmcd by 
their own claims and possessions in 1742, which include all the bounds 
aa laid down in the map, and none have even thought fit to dispute 

Such was the aboriginal title to the greater part of Ten- 
nessee in 1767, when the white settlers approached its east- 
i ^^^ boundary. On the 6th of May of this year a 
( deputation of the Six Nations presented to the super- 
intendent of Indian affairs, a formal remonstrance against the 
continued encroachments of the whites upon their lands. 
The subject was immediately considered by the royal go- 
▼erment ; and near the close of summer, orders were issued|to 
Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Northern Indian 
Affairs, instructing him to convene the chiefs, warriors and 
sachems of the tribes most interested. Agreeably to these 
orders, Sir William Johnson convened the delegates of the 
Six Nations, and their confederates and dependents, at Fort 
Stan wix, (now Utica, N. Y.,) October 24.. Three thousand 
two hundred Indians, of seventeen different tribes, tributaries 
to the Confederacy, or occupying territories coterminous with 
iheirs, attended. On the 5th of November, a treaty of 
limits and a deed of cession to the King of England, were 

* Franklin's workB, as quoted by Butler. 


signed. In this, the delegates of their respective natioM 
aver that '* they are the true and absolute proprietors of the 
lands thus ceded^ and that for the considerations mentioDedy 
^ we have continued the line south to the Cherokee or Hogoh^ 
gee rivers* because the same is^ and we declare it to be,our iruo 
bounds with the Southern Indians^ and that we have an im- 
doubted right to the country as far south as that river. ^ 

The cession thus made by the Six Nations, of the country 
north and east of the Tennessee river, is the first deed fitKQ 
any of the aboriginal tribes for any territory within the 
boundaries of our state. The title of the Confederates to thes^ 
lands was, by the treaty of Fort Stanwix, forever transferred 
from them; but other tribes contended that the Six Na- 
tions had not an exclusive claim to them, but that they Were 
the common hunting grounds of the Cherokees and Chieka* 
saws also. In the journal of the commissioners, detaU* 
ing the progress of the treaty, the tribes represented, dz;c., 
no mention is made of delegates in attendance from any of 
the southern Indian tribes. It is said by Haywood, that 
some visiting Cherokees were present at the treaty, who 
upon their route had killed game for their support, and on 
their arrival at Fort Stanwix, immediately tendered the 
skins to the Indians of the Six Nations, saying : " they are 
yours ; we killed them after we passed the big river," as 
they always designated the Tennessee. This would seem 
to imply an acquiescence on their part, in the validity of the 
claim of the Six Nations. These claimed the soil, not as its 
aboriginal owners, but by the right of conquest ; and all tra- 
dition concurs in admitting their right to that extent. But 
the Cherokees had long exercised the privilege of hunting 
upon these lands, and therefore regarded, with jealousy and 
dissatisfaction, the approaches of the white settlements. Mr. 
Stuart, the Superintendent of Southern Indian Affairs, was 
therefore instructed to assemble the southern Indians for the 
purpose of establishing a boundary with them ; and before 
negotiations with the confederates at Fort Stanwix had be- 
gun, he concluded a treaty with the Cherokees at Hard La- 
bour, in South-Carolina, October 14, 1768. By this treaty, it 

* The HdAioii was tfans called. 

ABORIGOflB OF TuriiBasxs. 77 

was agreed that the south-westem boundary of Virginia 
should be a line ^ extending from the point where the northern 
line of North-Carolina intersects the Cherokee hunting 
gronndS} about thirty-six miles east of Long Island, in the 
Hcdston river, and thence extending in a direct course, north 
by eaatp to Ghiswell's Mine, on the east bank of the Kenhawia 
river, and thence down that stream to its junction with the 
Ohio." This line, however, did not include all the settle- 
ments then made ; and even during the progress of the treaty, 
the settlers were advancing further west, and erecting their 
cabiQS north-west of the Holston, and upon the branches of 
the Clinch and Poweirs river, within the limits of the Indian 
territory. This fact being ascertained, a subsequent treaty 
booame necessary for the adjustment of a new boundary and 
the remuneration of the savages for an additional extent of 


At the time of its first exploration, Tennessee was a vast 
and almost unoccupied wilderness — a solitude over which an 
Indian hunter seldom roamed, and to which no tribe put in a 
distinct and well defined claim. For this reason, and on ac- 
count of the mildness of its climate, and the rich pasturage fur- 
nished by its varied ranges of plain and mountain, Tennessee^ 
in common with Kentucky, had become an extensive park, 
of which the beasts of the forest held undisturbed possession. 
Into these wild recesses, savage daring did not oflen venture 
to penetrate. Equi-distant from the settled territories of the 
southern and northern Indian tribes, it remained, by common 
consent, uninhabited by either, and little explored. The ap- 
proach of civilization, from several directions, began to abridge 
the territories of surrounding Indian nations ; and the mar- 
gin o^his great terra incognita was occasionally visited by 
parties of savages in pursuit of game, and as places of retreat 
finom the encroachments of a superior race. In these respects, 
the value of the country began to be appreciated as hunting 

* MoDette. 


grounds, and as affording immunity from the molestations of 
civilized man. Vague and uncertain claims to several por^ 
tions of the territory, were asserted by as many several tribes ; 
but no part of the present Tennessee was held by the actual 
and permanent occupancy of the Indians, except that section 
embraced by the segment of a circle, of which Tennessee ri- 
ver is the periphery, from the point where it intersects the 
North-Carolina line to that where this stream enters the State 
of Alabama. This was settled by the Cherokees. All of Ten- 
nessee, besides this, was uninhabited, though a portion of it 
was claimed or occupied as hunting grounds by the Shaw- 
nees, the Chickasaws,the Choctaws and the Cherokees. 

The limits of these several territorial claims were ill defin- 
ed and indistinct. An ideal line, merely, passing through 
boundless forests and pathless mountains, with no river or 
other notorious object to ascertain its exactness, became the 
occasion of misunderstanding between rival Indian nations. 

Of the four tribes, as above enumerated, a brief notice will be 
given, as connected with and illustrative of, the settlement of 


The earlier French explorers, and geographers after them, 
designate the banks of the Lower Cumberland as the country of 
the Shawnees. Numerous villages are laid down on the map, 
published with Marquette's Journal in 1681, within the pre- 
sent boundaries of Tennessee. They were a wandering na- 
tion — one of their tribes being mentioned as dwelling for a 
time in Eastern Virginia, and anothei% soon after, on the head- 
waters of the Savannah. Adair, little more than a century 
since*, ^ saw the chief part of the main camp of the Shawano, 
consisting of about four hundred and fifty persons, on a tedious 
ramble to the Muskoghee country, where they settled, seventy 
miles above the Alabahma garrison." 

The late General Robertson learned fVom the Indian J, that 
more than a century and a half ago, (1665,) the Shawnees oc- 
cupied the country from the Tennessee river to where Nash- 
ville now is, and north of the Cumberland ; and that about 
1700, they left this country and emigrated north, and were re- 


oeived a§ a wandering tribe by the Six Nations, but were not 
allowed to have there any claim to the soil. As late as 1764, 
the Shawnees moved from Green river, in Kentucky, where 
a part of them' then resided, to the Wabash. 

In 1772, the Little Com Planter, a most intelligent Ghero- 
kne chief, narrated, that the Shawnees, a hundred years be- 
j^re» by the permission of his nation, removed from the Sa- 
vannah river to Cumberland. That many years afterwards, 
the two nations becoming unfriendly, the Cherokees marched, 
in a large body, to the frontiers of the Shawnees — and divi- 
ding themselves into several small parties, unexpectedly and 
treacherously, as Little Corn Planter expressed himself — ^fell 
iqpon the Shawnees, and put a great many of them to death. 
The sorvivors then forted themselves, and maintained a pro- 
tracted war in defence of their possession of the country. At 
length the Ghickasaws became the allies of the Cherokees ; 
and the expulsion of the Shawnees from the Cumberland val- 
ley was gradually effected. This was about the beginning 
of the last centary. A few years later, when Monsieur Char- 
1*^14 i l^vil'® opened a store where Nashville now is, he oc- 
( cupied this fort of the Shawnees, as his dwelling. 
They were then, and had been for several years, so harassed 
by their enemies, that small parties of them had been, for a 
long time, gradually withdrawing from the country ; and their 
nomber had become so inconsiderable, that they determined 
to abandon Cumberland entirely, and soon after did so. The 
GkickasawB, hearing of the intended removal of the Shawnees, 
raeolved to strike an effectual blow against them, and, if pos- 
•ible» possess themselves of their stores. For this purpose, a 
large party of Chickasaw warriors posted themselves on both 
sides of Cumberland, above the mouth of Harpeth, provided 
with canoes, to prevent escape by water. Their attack was 
•nccessful. All the Shawnees were killed, and their property 
was captured by the Chickasaws. 

The hostilities between these tribes not being brought to a 
doee, by any formal treaty of peace, they continued to destroy 
each other as often as opportunity offered. At length, afraid 
of meeting each other, all of these tribes wholly forsook the 
coontry ; and for sixty years it remained not only unoccupied 
by either, bat was seldom visited by a hunting party. In this 


way, when it iv^as first explored and began to be settled by 
the whites, the whole country west of Gamberland moontain 
was found uninhabited, and abounding with all the wild beasts 
of the forest. 

Small parties of wandering Shawnees occasionally infested 
the frontiers, and from their familiarity with the mountains^ 
the rivers, and the paths to and from the country, were able 
to inflict serious damage to the infant settlements. A {Morl 
of the banditti who afterwards infested the narrows of the 
Tennessee river, and committed such enormous outrages on 
emigrants and navigators, at these celebrated passes, were 

In the map accompanying Adair's book, the river from 
the head of Holston to the confluence of the Tennessee and 
Ohio, is called Cherake. The Cumberland is called Old 
Shauvanon, or river of the Shawnees. Near the source of 
the latter stream, a tributary of the Tennessee takes its rise ; 
it is probably intended for the modem Clinch. The Hiwassee 
is called Euphasee, of which Chestoe is a confluent. Ten-* 
nase is the stream now known as Little Tennessee. 


This nation of Indians inhabited the country east of the 
Mississippi, and north of the Choctaw boundary ; their Vil- 
lages and settlements were generally south of the 35th degree 
of north latitude, but they claimed all the territory within the 
present States of Tennessee and Kentucky, which lies between 
the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers, and a considerable por- 
tion north of the former. These they claimed as hunting* 
grounds, though they had few or no permanent settlements 
within them. Tradition assigns to this tribe, when they first 
emigrated to this country, a very considerable population, 
but when Adair first visited them, (1735,) the Chickasaw 
warriors were estimated below five hundred. Though 
thus inconsiderable in numbers, the Chickasaws were war^ 
like and valiant. They exercised an unwonted influence 
over the Natches, Choctaws and other tribes. Their peace- 
able but brave warriors, were instrumental in preventing 
hostilities between their more numerous neighbouring tribes, 
or in concentrating their hostile operations against the 


French and Spaniards. Generally they were the friends and 
allies of the Anglo-Americans. 

At the time of De Soto's invasion, this tribe, as has been al- 
ready mentioned, occupied the same territory which has since 
been the seat of that nation, extending south from the mouth 
of the Tennessee river, to the country of the Natches and 
Choctaws. Chickasaw tradition assigns to this tribe a resi- 
dence, at one time, upon the Savannah. Chonubbec, one of 
their chieftains, said, that when his tribe occupied the country 
opposite to and east of Augusta, Georgia, hostilities arose 
between their people and the Creeks, and forced a great 
part of them to migrate to the country bordering on the 
MiBsissippi, while another fragment of their tribe was sub- 
doed by, and became incorporated with, the Creeks. As late 
as 1795, the Chickasaws presented to Congress their claim 
for lands on the Savannah. 

There is a close affinity between the Chickasaws and 
Ghootaws, in their physical appearances, their languages, 
onstomSy traditions and laws. These tribes are believed to 
have had a common origin. 


A small tribe of Uchees once occupied the country near 
the mouth of Hiwassee. Their warriors were exterminated 
in a desperate battle with the Cherokees. Little elsje is 
known of them. 


Fragments of this powerful tribe occasionally lived on the 
aouthern boundary of Tennessee, but never formed a perma- 
nent settlement in it. 


Adair says of the Cherokees, " their national name is derived 
from Chee-ra — fire — which is their reputed lower heaven^ 
and hence they call their magi, Cheera^tahge, men possessed of 
the divine fire. The natives make two divisions of their coun- 
try, wlueh they term Ayrate and Ottare, signifying low and 


mountainous. The former is on the head branches of the 
beautiful Savannah, and the latter on those of the eastern- 
most river of the great Mississippi." 

The same writer says, that forty years before the time he 
wrote, (1775,) the Cherokees had sixty-four populous towns, 
and that the old traders estimated their fighing men at above 
six thousand. The frequent wars between the Over-hill 
Towns and the northern Indians, and between the Middle 
and Lower Towns and the Muskogee or Creek Indians, had 
greatly diminished the number of the warriors, and con- 
tracted the extent of their settlements. 

" Within twenty miles of the late Fort Loudon,** continues 
Mr. Adair, ^ there is a great plenty of whet-stones for rasorSi 
of red, white and black colours. The silver mines are so rich, 
that by digging about ten yards deep, some desperate va^ 
grants found at sundry times, so much rich ore, a« to enable 
them to counterfeit dollars to a great amount, a horse-load of 
which was detected, in passing for the purchase of negroes, 
at Augusta." He also mentions load stone as being fonnd 
there and at Cheowhee, and also a variety of precious 
stones, of 'Various colour and beautiful lustre, clear and 
very hard." A tradition still continues of the existence of 
the silver mine mentioned thus by Adair. It is derived from 
hunters and traders who bad seen the locality, and assisted 
in smelting the metal. After the whites had settled near 
and'^began to encroach upon the Over-hill towns, their inhabi- 
tants began to withhold all knowledge of the mines from the 
traders, apprehending that their cupidity for the precious 
metals would lead to an appropriation of the mines, and the 
ultimate expulsion of the natives from the country. The late 
Mr. De Lozier, of Sevier county, testified to the existence and 
richness of mines of silver, one of which he had worked at, in 
the very section of the Cherokee country described by Adair. 

The Cherokee tribe is closely identified with the settlement 
and history of Tennessee. Their nation, and some of their 
villages, are frequently mentioned in the accotnts of De 
Soto's invasion, and the journals of other explorers and 
adventurers into the interior of the south-west. They were 
formidable alike for their numbers and their passion for war. 


The frontier of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, all suf- 
fered from their vigour and their enterprise ; and these pages 
will her^^ailter abound with instances of their revenge, their 
perfidy, and their courage. They were the mountaineers of 
aboriginal America, and, like all other mountaineers, adored 
their country, and held on to and defended it with a heroic 
devotion — a patriotic constancy, and an unyielding tenacity, 
which cannot be too much admired or eulogized. 

* » Si Pergtma dextra 
Defendi poaunt : etiain hac defenia faioent." 

The native land of the Cherokee was the most inviting 
and beautiful section of the United States, Ijring upon the 
sources of the Catawba and the Yadkin — upon Keowee, 
Tugaloo, Flint, Etowah and Coosa, on the east and south, 
and several of the tributaries of the Tennessee on the west 
and north. 

This tribe, inhabiting the country from which the southern 
eonfluents of the Tennessee spring, gave their name, at first 
to that noble stream. In the earlier maps, the Tennessee is 
called the Cherokee river. In like manner, the name of this 
tribe also designated the mountains near them. Currahee 
is only a corruption of Cherokee, and in the maps and trea- 
ties where it is thus called, it means the mountains of the 

Of the martial spirit of this tribe, abundant evidence will 
be hereafter given. In the hazardous enterprises of war, they 
were animated by a restless spirit which goaded them into 
new exploits, and to the acquisition of a fresh stock of mar- 
tial renown. The white people, for some years previous to 
J 730, interposed their good offices to bring about a pacifica- 
tion between them and the Tuscaroras, with whom they had 
long waged incessant war. The reply of the Cherokees was : 
** We cannot live without war. Should we make peace with 
the Tuscaroras, we must immediately look out for some 
other, with whom we can be engaged in our beloved occu- 
pation." Actuated by the restless activity of this sentiment, 
there have been but few intervals in the historj^ of the Chero- 
kees, when they have permitted themselves to sink into the 
inglorious arms of peace, and to be employed only in the 


less perilous slaughter of the wild beasts of the wilderness. 
They have hardly ever ceased to sigh for danger, and to 
aspire to the rank which is attained by acts of heroic valour.* 
Under the promptings of this feeling, they have, at different 
times, been engaged in war against the colonists of England, 
of France, and of Spain, and also against other Indian tribes, 
with varied success. They assisted in the reduction of Fort 
Du Quesne ; they besieged and captured Fort Loudon ; they 
met the entire tribe of the Uchees, at the Uchee Old Fields, 
in what is now Rhea county, and, exterminating all its war- 
riors, compelled the surviving remnant of that brave race to 
retreat to Florida, where they became incorporated with the 

The Cherokees have a tradition, that when their tribe first 
crossed the Alleghanies, and settled upon the Little Tennes* 
see river, some Creeks had previously occupied the country 
near the mouth of the Hiwassee river. Being near neigh- 
bours, the latter pretended to enter into alliance with the 
former, in a war which they were then carrying on against 
the Shawnees, but secretly abetted the common enemy. 
Their treachery became known to the Cherokees while cele- 
brating one of their national festivals at Chota, when they 
fell suddenly upon the unsuspecting Creeks, and cut them 
off. A general war between these two tribes succeeded, and 
was carried on with such vigour as to cause the Creeks to 
abandon all their settlements and villages on the waters of 
Tennessee, and to leave them in the undisturbed possession 
of the Cherokees. Indeed, the latter pushed their conquests 
as far as the great Creek Path, and then crossed over to 
Coosa, where, at a large settlement on an island, they by 
stratagem drew the Creeks from their towns, in a fleet of 
canoes, to a place on the bank of Coosa, where they lay in 
ambush, captured the canoes and all the Creek warriors, 
sacked their towns, and massacred the defenceless inhabi- 
tants. The English name of the leader of this excursion was 
Bullhead. Cherokee tradition abounds with instances of the 
exploits performed by this Brave against the Creeks. 

These continued successes of the Cherokees made them 

* Haywood's Aboriginal History. 


qnarrelsome, arrogant and incautious. They took offence 
at the Chickasaws, with whom they had confederated in the 
expulsion of the Shawnees, and in prosecution of a hostile 
invasion of their country, had advanced as far as the Chicka- 
saw Old Fields. The inoffensive but brave owners of the 
country, there met the invaders with great spirit. A terrible 
eonflict ensued. The Cherokees were defeated, and withdrew 
by the way of the Cumberland river and the Cany Fork, to 
their own villages. This signal overthrow of the flower of 
the Cherokee nation, took place about 1760 — the period 
when the first white settlement was being formed on Wa- 
tanga, and, doubtless, contributed much to the pacific demea^ 
nour manifested for some years by the neighbouring Indians 
to that infant, feeble and secluded community. The favoura- 
ble moment was lost, when the young Hercules might have 
been strangled in his cradle, by a slight exertion of the usual 
vigilance and enterprise of the Indian sachem and warrior. 
A germ of the Anglo-American family was permitted to take 
root and to grow for a time, unmolested by Cherokee opposi- 
tion, and unrestrained by savage wariness and caution. 

Every Indian tribe, according to Adair, has a house or town 
of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect a man-slayer, or 
(he unfortunate captive, if he can once enter into it. 

Among the Cherokees, Chota, five miles above the ruins 
of Fort, Loudon, was their city of refuge. At this place an 
Englishman took refuge and found protection, after killing an 
Indian warrior in defence of his property. His dwelling- 
house being near to Chota, the English trader resolved, after 
remaining in the city of refuge some months, to return home ; 
but he was assured by the head men, that although perfectly 
safe where he then was, it would be not only dangerous but 
fatal to him, if he attempted to remove thence. The Indians 
will revenge blood for blood, unless in some particular case, 
where the eldest kinsman of the slain is allowed to redeem 
or pardon. 

Among the distinguished Cherokees, was Oconostota. Of 
him Adair says : " Before the last war. Old Hop^ who was 
helpless and lame, presided over the whole nation, as Archi- 
maguSy and lived in Chota, their only town of refuge.'' 



Speaking of the Indian's passion for revenge, Adair says t 
'* I have known them to go a thousand miles for the purpose of 
revenge, in pathless woods, over hills and mountains, through 
large cane swamps, full of grape-vines and briars, over broad 
lakes, rapid rivers and deep creeks ; and all the way endan- 
gered by poisonous snakes, if not with the rambling and lurk- 
ing enemy — while, at the same time, they were exposed to the 
extremities of heat and cold, the vicissitudes of the season, to 
hunger and thirst — both by chance and their religious scanty 
method of living when at war — to fatigues and other difficul- 
ties. Such is their overboiling revengeful temper, that they 
utterly contemn all those things as imaginary trifles, if they 
are so happy as to get the scalp of the murderer or enemy» 
to satisfy the supposed craving ghosts of their deceased rela- 

Amongst the Cherokees, when first seen by the pioneers of 
Tennessee, there were no cities or fortresses — scarcely a con- 
siderable village. Their towns — settlements, rather — were 
rude huts and wigwams, scattered without order or regular- 
ity, along the banks of some stream abounding with springs* 
and convenient to a fishery, a hunting ground, or lands for 
pasturage. To each hut was attached a small patch of rich 
land, from which the cane had been removed. This was used 
as a garden, where the women cultivated beans, Indian corn, 
and, at a later period, apples, peaches and plums. These 
lots were often without fences — as the domestic animals which 
the Indians raised, were not kept near their houses, but roam- 
ed at large over the cane-breaks, or the more distant prairies 
or forests. 

The Indians designated the mountains and streams of their 
country by names remarkable for their euphony and beauty. 
Many of these have been lost, or are now seldom heard. The 
loss is, we fear, irreparable. Bay's, Stone, Iron, Yellow, Smoky, 
Black, Grand-father Mountains, were once doubtless known 
by names as smooth and musical as Alleghanee, Unaca, Chil- 
howee and Chattanooga. Dumplin, Sandy Mush, Little Dis- 
mal, Bull Run, Calf Killer, Sweet Water, and High Tower, 
though sufficiently [significant, would grate harshly upon the 
ears of a Cherokee, who had bathed in the waters, luxuriated 


in the shades, formed bis ambuscade and sung his war- song 
upon the banks of the Allejay, the Oustinalla and the Etowah. 


From information derived from all the sources within his 
reach, this writer believes that the Tennessee river was called 
by the first explorers and geographers, Ueviere des Cheraquis, 
or Cosquinambeaux — but by the aborigines, Kallamuchee; 
which I take to be the aboriginal name of the stream, from its 
confluence with the Ohio to the mouth of Little Tennessee. 
From this point to the mouth of the PVench Broad, it was called 
Cootcia ; and from there to the mouth of Watauga, and per- 
haps to its source in Virginia, the Holston was known to the 
Indians as Hogohegee. The French Broad, throughout its 
whole length, was the Agiqua, and received, on its northern 
bank, the Swannanoah and the Nonachunheh (now Nolli- 
chacky). The present barbarous Clinch, had the more eupho- 
nious name, Pellissippi. Little River was the Canot ; Little 
Tennessee was the Tannassee ; and its confluent, Tellico, has 
bien changed from Ptsaliko, or Saliko ; Hiwassee, was pro- 
nounced Euphasee ; Cumberland, was called by the Indians, 
Warioto— but by the French, Shauvanon ; Wolf River was 
the Margot ; Loushatchee, Hatchee, Sequatchee, Ocoee, 
Conesauga and Watauga have, happily, escaped the Vandal 
mutilation or corruption which the unfortunate Holston, 
French Broad, Clinch, Wolf and Forked Deer have suffered. 

When the pioneers of Tennessee settled in the south- 
western part of Virginia, and the coterminous portions of 
North-Carolina, the country had ceased to be, perhaps had 
never been, the settled residence of any of the more modem 
aboriginal tribes. At this time it was the common hunting 
grounds of the Shawnees, Cherokees and other southern In- 
dians. But east and north of the Tennessee river, there was 
not a single Indian hut. Still, along the vallies of what is now 
East Tennessee and South-western Virginia, lay the great 
Toute and thoroughfare between the northern and southern 
Indians, in their intercourse with distant tribes, in their hunt- 
ing excursions, in their hostile expeditions and in their em- 


baaeies of peace ; this was the path of migration, the ohase^ 
the treaty and savage invasion. Besides its central poritmi 
and its direct bearing, the great Apalachian chain coald no 
where else be so easily ascended and crossed. Abundance of 
game, water and fuel, a healthful and moderate climate^ an 
unoccupied territory, no impracticable swamps, or deep and 
wide streams to retard their jonrneyings^ were all eonsiderap 
tions that led to the selection of this path. One branch of it was 
nearly the same as the present stage route passing the Big 
Lick, in Bottetourt county, Viginia ; crossing New River at 
old Fort Chissel, near Inglis' Ferry, Holston at the Seven 
Mile Ford, thence to the left of the present stage road and 
near to the river, to the North Fork, crossing as at present ; 
thence to Big Creek and crossing the Holston at Dodson'a 
Ford, to the Grassy Springs, near the residence of the late 
Micajah Lea ; thence down the waters of Nollichucky to Long 
Creek, ascending that stream to its source, and descending 
Dnmplin Creek to a point a few miles from its mouth, where 
the path deflected to the left and crossed French Broad near 
Buckingham's Island. Near this, the path divided. One 
branch of it went up the west fork of Little Pigeon, and 
crossed some small mountains to the Tuckalechee towns, and 
so on to the Over-hill villages of the Cherokees. The other 
and main fork, went up Boyd's Creek to its source, and falling 
upon the head branches of Allejay, descended its valley to 
Little River, and crossing near Henry's, went by the present 
town of Maryville, to the mouth of Tellico, and passing 
through the Indian towns and villages of Tellico, Chota and 
Hiwassee, descended the Coosa, where it connected with the 
Great War Path of the Creeks. Near the Wolf Hills, now 
Abingdon, another path came in from the north-west, which 
pursued nearly the same route now travelled from the latter 
place to Kentucky, and crossing the mountain at that remark* 
able depression called Cumberland Gap. It was along this 
path that the earlier English explorers and hunters first 
passed to Kentucky, and through it the Rockcastle and Ohio 
savages often penetrated, to molest and break up the early 
settlements upon New River and Holston. 
Dr. Hardy, of Asheville, North-Carolina, believes that the 


Cherokees used the country, near and around the sources of the 
French Broad, more as hunting grounds than as a place of resi- 
dence. This opinion is sustained by the fact, that the streams 
and mountains of that region do not bear aboriginal names. 
French Broad, Pigeon, Sandy Mush, Ivy, &c., are the 
water courses. Blue Ridge, Pisgah, Glass, Smoky and Bald* 
are the mountains, all English names. No considerable war 
path or Indian trace passed through those elevated and 
almost inaccessible regions, and it was not till after 1787 
that emigrants passed through them. 

Little of the former history of the Cherokee tribe can be 
ascertained from their traditions. These extend little further 
baek than the early days of 0-ka-na-sto-ta, the distinguished 
chief who visited England in the days of George II. From 
his time they date the declension of their natioil ; he was 
king or principal chief. His seat of government was one of 
the Over-hill towns, Echota, more properly E-tsaw-ty, on 
Tellico river, since the property of the late John McGhee, Esq. 

Of the tumuli scattered every where through the country, 
and of other remains occasionally found in and near them, 
ifae Cherokees know nothing, only that when their fathers first 
took possession of the country, they considered them as the 
vestiges of an ancient and more numerous population, further 
adyanced in the arts of civilized life than their own people* 
For these relics they seemed to entertain some ^collar vene- 
ration, and never appropriated them to any secular purpose 

The piles or heaps of rocks, so often met with in the gaps 
or crossing places of mountains or ridges, are structures very 
different from the tumuli proper. They are believed to be 
more modem, and it is not improbable that they owe 
their origin to a superstition not uncommon, if not general, in 
all heathen countries. The Rev. Mr. Winslow, American 
missionary at Oodooville, in the district of Jafna, makes the 
firilowing statement in a journal under date of May 19, 1832 : 
"In coming over a tract of land which would be called in 
America * barrens,' where there was no forest and but little 
cultivation, I saw in several places, near the foot paths lead- 
ing to the principal bazaar, large piles of stones ; and en- 


quiring into the caase, was told that the people, in passing 
over such places, are in the habit, eaph one, of casting a stone 
upon heaps begun in some particular spot, as an offering to 
an evil spirit, who would otherwise afflict them and their 

We may not here indulge in further remarks upon the 
aborigines of America. Were it otherwise proper, the 
theme would invite us to inquire into and examine their 
physical, domestic, political, social and religious history; 
their manners, rites, arts, traditions, religion, government and 
laws. The analogies which are found betwen these and 
those of some Asiatic tribes, not less than their physical 
affinities, furnish, if not the foundation of legitimate infe- 
rence, certainly ground for plausible conjecture and speon- 
lation. Iti their language or dialects, is presented a subject 
for philological research that may illustrate the connection 
which, at some former time, existed between the aboriginal 
population of America and the rest of the world. But upon 
these topics we dare not enter. It must be sufficient here, 
only to say that every where in the West, we find ourselves 
surrounded with vestiges of different nations who have lived 
here before us ; and that we may infer from these relics, very 
different degrees of progress and improvement in the people 
who constructed them. Of these there are three classes. 
First : — thos# belonging to the modern Indians ; these are nei^ 
ther numerous nor interesting — such as rude axes of stone, 
pestles and mortars, arrow heads, earthen vessels, pipes, war 
clubs, musical instruments and idols, carved out of a spe- 
cies of serpentine, calumets, &c. Second : — those belong- 
ing to or constructed by a people of European or foreign 
descent ; such as medals, coins, beads, crucifixes, furnaces^ 
^c. Third: — those belonging to or made by a people 
evidently demi-civilized, who anciently inhabited the coun- 
try ; such as forts, cemeteries, tumuli, temples, altars, camps, 
towns, videttes, fortifications, &c. These structures fur- 
nish unquestionable evidence, that a dense population, at 
a remote period, occupied this country, and had made some 
advance *in the arts of civilized life. These, though they 
may not awaken in the beholder the same associations as 


the rains of Rome, or the majestic desolations of Greece, 
are certainly not entirely devoid of interest, but excite a 
feeling of veneration for the memory of those mighty em- 
pires which once flourished where these vestiges of their 
former greatness are yet found. And the inquiry forcibly 
presents itself, who were these unknown people ? How and 
when have these nations become extinct ? Did some swarm 
of ruthless invaders from our northern hive, at some far dis- 
tant period of time, seeking a more genial climate, descend 
the vallies of the West, and, carrying devastation in their 
march, Vandal-like, consign them to oblivion ? Tradition, a 
medium of communication between remote ages too much 
undervalued, is not altogether silent on this subject. At a 
Tory noted congress or treaty, held early in the last century, 
at Lancaster, Pa., Indian delegates in attendance, said their- 
ancestors had conquered several nations on the west side of 
ffae Great Mountains, viz : " The Gony-uch-such-roona, the 
Coch-now-was-roonon, the Tohoa-nough-roonaw, and the 

The traditions of the Tennessee tribes on the subject, are 
indistinct and conflicting. They agree in this, that their 
forefathers «found these vestiges here, or that they were 
always here, meaning, thereby, to assign to these ancient 
relics an indefinite antiquity. The several Indian families 
in America have been well compared to the fragments of a 
vast ruin. Certain is it, that these remains imply the former 
existence of a population so dense as to prove that it was 
incapable of existing in a country of hunters only, and that, 
possibly, Tennessee and the West were once the theatre upon 
which agriculture, civilization and peace exhibited their 
benign influence, or the dreadful battle field, where the lust 
of dominion, the bad passions of man and his unhallowed 
ambition, consigned to the grave and to oblivion hecatombs 
of human victims, and made the fairest part of God's crea- 
tion a desert and a waste. Turning from the contemplation 
of this gloomy picture, we hasten to trace the progress of 
civilized man, of enlightenment and art over the wilds of 
Tennessee. # 





In the meantime, the treaty of Fort Stanwix had given a 
pretext for a general disregard of the king's proclamation^ 
prohibiting settlements of his subjects west of the mountatnSp 
and had excited afresh the spirit of emigration and explora* 
tion westward. Land-mongers penetrated fearlessly into 
the wilderness, while masses of emigrants had accnmalated 
along the boundary, and concentrating themselves at the 
leading avenues from the Atlantic to the westerd watery 
stood for a moment impatient of longer restraint, and cast- 
ing a wishful look upon the inviting country before them. 
Tennessee was yet without a single civilized inhal)itant 
We have traced the approaches of the Anglo-American popu- 
lation to her eastern boundary. The genius of civilizatiottp 
in her progress from the east, had passed the base of the 
great Apalachian range. She stood upon its sutnmit, protid 
of past success — and, ambitious of further and greater 
achievement, surveyed from that height the wide field before 
and around her. On her right, are the rich vallies and Iqmz- 
riant plains of Kentucky and Ohio, as yet imperfectly known 
from the obscure report of the returning explorer or the 
Shawnee prisoner. On the left, her senses are regaled by 
the luxuriant groves, the delightful savannas, and the en- 
chanting beauties of the sunny south. Far in the distance 
and immediately before her, she contemplates the Great West, 
lis vastness at first overwhelms and astounds her, but at 
the extreme limit of her vision, Aq(ierican adventure and 
western enterprise are seen beckoning her to move for- 
ward and to occupy the goodly land. She descends to the 
plains below, and on the prolific soil of the quiet Watauga, 
in the lonely seclusion of one of its ancient forests, is de- 
positA the germ of the future State of Tennessee. In that 
germ were contained all the elements of prospective great- 


ness and achievement. What these elements were, succeed- 
ing pages will but feebly develope and illustrate. Toil, 
enterprise, perseverance and courage, had planted that germ 
in a distant wilderness. The circumstances that surrounded 
Uy "required for its growth, culture and protection, wisdom, 
flKue, patriotism, valour and self-reliance. American was to 
jjecome Western character, and here was the place and this 
^e time of its first germination. 

The ne^ of the great grant from the Six Nations reached 
1769 \ y^F^n^i^f settlement soon after the tre<ity of ^o- 
»er, 1768. Dr. Walker, the Commissioner from 
Virginia, had returned from Fort Stanwix, and brought with 
him an account of the cession. He is the same gentleman 
who, as has been already narrated, had twice explored the 
new country, and now bore with him one form of authority 
for an indefinite extension of the white settlements west- 
ward. The Indian boundary, as adjusted at Hard Labour, 
in October of the same year, had given the assent of the 
Cl^erokees to a further expansion of the Holston settlements ; 
lyid late ii|^ December, 1768, and early in January of 1769, 
YAS formed the nucleus of the first permanent establishment / 
of the white race in Tennessee. It was merely an enlarge- 

KBnt of the Virginia settlement near it, and at the time was 
lieved to be upon the territory of that province, — the line 
^^vidin^ Virginia and North-Carolina not having been yet 
my west of Steep Rock. The settlers were principally from 
what is now Wake county, in North-Carolina. Some of 
them had been among the troops raised by that province, and 
tent, in 1760, for the relief of the garrison at Fort Loudon — 
Mhers of them had wintered, in 175H, at the Long Island Fort, 
around which a temporary settlement had been made, which 
was soon after broken up and its members forced to retire 
east of Kenhawa. 

Early in this year further explorations were made. One 
of them originated with Gilbert Christian and William 
Anderson. They had accompanied the regiment com- 
manded by Colonel Bird, and were so pleased with the 
country through which they had marched, that they deter- 
mined to explore it more fully. They were joinec? by the 


late Colonel John Sawyers, of Knox county, and fonr others. 
They crossed the north fork of Holston at the present ford, 
and penetrated as low down that stream as Big Creek,, in 
the present county of Hawkins, where they met a largj 
party of Indians. '' They turned about and went back up th^ 
river ten or fifteen miles, and concluded to return home^ 
About twenty miles above the North Fork, they found, upo^ 
their return, a cabin on every spot where the range vmm 
good, and where oniy^six weeks before nothinogKas to be 
seen but a howling wilderness. When they pass^^k before, 
on their outward destination, they found no setti^ron Hol- 
ston, save three families on the head springs of that river."* 
So impetuous was the current of population westward. i 

Of those who ventured farthest into the wilderness with 
^ their families, was Capt. William Bean. He came from Pit^ 
sylvania county, Va., and settled early in 1769 on Boon'sCreel^ 
a tributary of Watauga, in advance of Carter and others^ 
who soon after settled upon that ^stream. His son, Russell 
Bean, was the first white child born in what is now Tenmss- 
see. Captain Bean had hunted with Boon, knew his camp^ 
and selected this as the place of lys settlement on the a<v 
count of its abundant game. His cabin was not far from 
Watauga. He was an intrepid man, and will be mentioned 
hereafter. Bean's Station was afterwards settled by him. 

But explorations were not confined to the country sinc9b 
known as East Tennessee. A glimpse had been obtaiaed 
by Findley, Boon and Smith, of those portions of Kentucky 
and Middle Tennessee lying upon the Cumberland river. 
It had been ascertained, too, that the entire territory between 
the Ohio and Tennessee was unoccupied by any aboriginal 
tribe, and that it was the hunting ground and often the bat- 
tle field of the adjoining Indian nations. Possessed by none 
of these for residence or cultivation, it presented an inviting 
field for further exploration and future settlement. It had 
been represented, also, as a country of boundless fertility and 
inconceivably beautiful. Men of hardy enterprise and fear- 
less spirit were at hand to explore and occupy it. The pio- 

• Haywood. 


neers of«civ]lization in the West, — the trader, the hunter, the 
surveyor, — were already on the frontier ready to tempt the 
dangerous wilds. 

After the return of Smith in 176G, from his expedition to 
the Lower Cumberland, Isaac Lindsay, and four others from 
South-Carolina, were the next adventurers. They crossed 
^e AUeghanies and the Cumberland at the usual place — 
hanted upon the Rockcastle and de^M|ded Cumberland as 
low as the mouth of Stone's river. ^^^ they met Michael 

Stoner, who, with Harrod, hao^Pme from Illinois to 

hunt. These two were from Pittsburg. Previous to this 
time, in 1704, the Shawnees had removed from the Cumber- 
land and Greene rivers to the Wabash, and no Indians were 
then there. At the bluff, where Nashville now stands, some 
French were settled and had a station. Ten or twelve miles 
above the mouth of Tennessee, there was then another 
French station. 

The first of May, 1769, Daniel Boon, as narrated by him- 
idfy ^lefl his peaceable habitation on the Yadkin river, in 
quest of the country of Kentucky," in company with John 
Findley, John Stewart, and three others. These hunters must 
have passed rapidly through Upper East Tennessee, as we 
learn from the narrative that on the 7th of June they were 
upon Red River, the northern-most branch of the Kentucky 
liver. In December of that year, John Stewart was killed 
by Indians, ^the first victim, as far as is known, in the heca- 
tombs of white men, offered by the Indians to the god of bat- 
tles, in their desperate and ruthless contention for Kentucky."* 
Of Findley, nothing more is known than that he was the first 
huntet of Kentucky, and the pilot of Boon to the dark and 
bloody ground. 

On the 2d of June, 17G9, a larger company of adventurers 
was formed, for the purpose of hunting and exploring, in 
what is now known as Middle Tennessee. As the country 
was discovered and settled by the enterprise and defended 
by the valour of these first explorers, we choose to give their 
names, the places from which they came, and such details 
of their hazardous journeyings as have been preserved. 

• Batler. 


May the time never come, when the self-sacrificing.toil and 
the daring hardihood of the pioneers of Tennessee will be 
forgotten or undervalued by their posterity. The company 
consisted of more than twenty men. Some of them from 
North-Carolina ; others from the neighbourhood of the Na- 
tural Bridge, and others from the infant settlement near 
Inglis' Ferry, in Virginia. The names of some of theii| 
follow : John Rains, l|^per Mansco, Abraham Bledsoe, Jobs 
Baker, Joseph DraJ^^Aadiah Terrill, Uriah Stone, Henry 
Smith, Ned Cowan^PSert Crockett. The place of rendes- 
vous was eight miles below Fort Chissel, on New River. 
They came by the head of Holston, and, crossing the north 
fork, Clinch and Powell's rivers, and passing through Cum* 
berland Gap, discovered the southern part of Kentncky, and 
fixed a station camp at a place since called Price's Meadow, 
in Wayne county, where they agreed to deposit their game 
and skins. The hunters here dispersed in different diree* 
tions ; the whole company still travelling to the south-west 
They came to Roaring River and the Cany Fork, at a point 
far above the mouth and somewhere near the foot of the 
mountain. Robert Crockett was killed near the head wateri 
of Roaring River, when returning to the camp, provided for 
two or three days' travelling ; the Indians were there in am- 
bush, and fired upon and killed him. The Indians were tra- 
velling to the north, seven or eight in company. Crockett's 
body was found on the war track, leading from the Cherokee 
nation towards the Shawnees tribe. All the country through 
which these hunters passed, was covered with high grass ; no 
traces of any human settlement could be seen, and the pri- 
meval state of things reigned in unrivalled glory ; though 
undor dry caves, on the side of creeks, they found many 
places where stones were set up, that covered large quanti- 
ties of human bones; these were also found in the caves, 
with which the country abounds. They continued to hunt 
eight or nine months, when part of them returned in Aprilt 
The return of Findley and Boon to the banks of the Yadkin 



i'77o i *"^ ^^ ^^^ explorers, whose journal has just been 
c given, to their several homes, produced a remarkable 
sensation. Their friends and neighbours were enraptured 
with the glowing descriptions of the delightful country they 
had discovered, and their imaginations were inflamed with 
the account of the wonderful products, which were yielded 
in such bountiful profusion. The sterile hills and rocky 
uplands of the Atlantic country began to lose their interest, 
when compared with the fertile vallies beyond the moun- 
tains.* A spirit of further exploration was thus excited in 
the settlements on New River, Holston and Clinch, which 
originated an association of about fortJ^ stout hunters, for 
the purpose of hunting and trapping west of Cumberland 
mountains. Equipped with their rifles, traps, dogs, blankets, 
and»dressed in the hunting shirt, leggins and mocassins, 
they commenced their arduous enterprise, in the real spirit 
of hazardous adventure, through the rough forest and rugged 
hill8.t The names of these adventurers are now not known. 
The expedition was led by Colonel James Knox. The leader, 
and nine others of the company, penetrated to the Lower 
Camberland, and, making there an extensive and irregular 
ciroait, adding much to their knowledge of the country, after 
a long absence, returned home. They are known as the 
*• Long Hunters." 

In the meantime, the infant settlement on Watauga was ^ 
receiving constant additions to its numbers from North-Ca- ^ 
rolina and Virginia, where the rage of visiting unexplored 
regions had become irresistible, and an irrepressible anxiety 
to emigrate succeeded. Other causes, too, were exerting an 
indirect influence upon the people of both North and South- 
Carolina. In each of these provinces, civil disturbances 
existed, the results of which augmented the population and 
stimulated the growth of the new community germinating 
across the mountain. 

In South-Carolina, previous to 1770, no courts of justice 
were held beyond the limits of the capital, and, in the inte- 
rior of that province, the inhabitants took tfte law into their. 
own hands and punished oflenders in a summary way. 

* MoDette. t Marshall. 



^ This mode of proceeding was called Regulation, and its 
authors Regulators."* Those who opposed them were called 
Scovilites, after their leader, Scovil, commissioned by the 
governor to suppress them. Each party was armed and pre- 
pared for the last extremity, 
■y These tumults, and the bitter animosities they engendered, 

' ^ drove many from South-Carolina to the settlements on Hol- 
ston and Watauga. 

In North-Carolina, disturbances existed also, but produced 
by other and different causes, and, unlike those just narrated, 
were, unfortunately, not quieted without bloodshed. The 
inhabitants of this province, who lived upon Lord Granville'8 
reservation, about two-thirds of the whole, complained that 
illegal and exorbitant fees were extorted by officers of gov- 
ernment, that oppressive taxes were exacted by the sheriffs 
and that the manner of collecting them was arbitrary and 
tyrannical. The people had long petitioned and remonstrated, 
but the officers remained unpunished. Another fruitful 
source of general discontent increased the popular clamour. 

^V In 1764 the intentions of the British ministry to quarter 
troops in America, and to support them at the expense of the 
colonies, were publicly announced. Afler debate in the 
House of Commons, it was unanimously determined that the 
Parliament of Great Britain had the ri^A^.toJax the Ameri- 
cans, but it was not till March, of the next year, that this 
right was exercised by the passage of an act for raising a - 
revenue by a general sta mp du ty through all the American 
colonies. This act excited the most serious alarm. It was 
received as a violation of the British constitution, and as 
destructive of the first principles of liberty, and combina-. 
tions against its execution were every where formed. Vir- 
ginia was the first to assert colonial rights, and to deny the 
claim of parliamentary taxation. To the bold patriotism 
and fervid eloquence of Patrick Henry, is dye the immortal 
honour of this early avowal of the inviolability of the repre- 
sentative principle. 

In North-Carolina, the public mind was much disturbed by 
the report that the stamp act had been passed by Parlianient. 



This intelligence reached Wilmington shortly after the meet^ 
ing of the Assembly, and such was the violence exhi- 
bited by the members of the popular House, that Governor 
Tiyon suddenly prorogued the legislative body.* By the 
passage of the stamp act, an amalgamation of all par- 
ties in the province was brought about. The people of 
North-Carolina were never before so unanimous. All joined 
in giving a solemn assurance to the mother country that the 
colonies would not be forcibly taxed — an assurance that was 
nobly, thoagh not unanimously, enforced, and which achieved 
the freedom of America.t Col. Ashe, on the approach of 
the stamp ship, embodied a company of militia, and held 
himself ready for battla The odious freight was never 
kmdedy and the fiery impetuosity of the colonel, aided by the 
enthusiasm of the whole people, arrested the stamp master, 
condacted him to the market house, where, in the presence 
of the assembled multitude, he swore a solemn oath never 
to perform the duties of his office. 

The subsequent repeal of the odious stamp act was insuffi- 
cient to appease the growing discontent, or to repress the 
insorreetionary tendencies of the people. The extortions of 
the officers were continued, and the taxes were multiplied. 
Besides, the office holders were all foreigners, who, not con- 
tent with having engrossed the stations of authority and hon- 
our in their adopted country, endeavoured to revel upon the 
hard earnings of an agricultural and primitive people. The 
trade, too, of the province was monopolized by foreign mer- 
chants, ** who came in shoals, to get rich and to get conse. 
quence. The poor man was treated with disdain, because 
unable to contribute to their emoluments. He was excluded 
from their society, unless when he was to be reminded of his 
insignificance, and to be told with brutal freedom of the low 
rank which he held.":|; Nothing is more offensive to correct 
taste, virtuous, sentimeut and just discernment, than the up- 
start consequence and fictitious importance engendered by 
sudden or unexpected accumulation. This hauteur is the 
more intolerable and annoying, as it is never accompanied 
with intellectual or moral worth. 

'May 18,1766. t Jones. :( Haywood. 


Such were the outrages, political and domestic, that dis- 
quieted the people of North-Carolina. The perpetrators 
of the former were the men in power, who were appointed 
by law to redress the wrongs and protect the rights of the 
people. Those who were injured met and petitioned for re- 
lief, and made representations of the mal-practices from 
which they had suffered. Their petitions were rejected and 
treated with disdain. They held several meetings, assumed 
the name of Regulators, and resolved "to pay no more tazesy 
until they were satisfied that the tax was agreeable to law, 
and should be applied to the purposes therein mentioned ; to 
pay no officer any higher fees than the law allows, to attend 
their meeting of conference ; to consult our representatives on 
the amendment of such laws as may be found grevious or 
unnecessary ; to choose more suitable men for burgesses and 
vestrymen, than we have heretofore done, and to petition tlie 
Assembly, Governor, Council, King and Parliament for re- 
dress, in such grievances as in the course of the undertaking 
may occur ; and to inform one another, learn, know and en- 
joy, all the privileges and liberties that are allowed and 
were settled on us by our worthy ancestors, the founders of 
oar present constitution, in order to preserve it on its ancient 
foundation, that it may stand firm and unshaken.^^ In the 
public and documentary proceedings of the Regulators we 
see nothing to blame and much to admire. " On these prin- 
ciples, and to this extent of opposition, the whole western 
counties were agreed. The most sober and sedate in the 
community were united in resisting the tyranny of unjust and 
|Xorbitant taxes, and had been aroused to a degree of violence 
and opposition, difficult to manage and hard to quell. And the 
more restless, and turbulent, and unprincipled parts of society, 
equally aggrieved and more ungovernable, cast themselves in 
as part of the resisting mass of population, with little to gain, 
bat greater license for their unprincipled passions ; and little 
to lose, could they escape confinement and personal punish- 
ment. Unjustifiable acts perpetrated by these, were charged 
upon the Regulators, and they were held accountable for all 
the ill that wicked men chose to do, under the name of 
struggling for liberty ; while it is well known that the leaders 


of this oppressed party never expressed a desire to be free 
from law or equitable taxation. The governor's palace, 
doable and treble fees, and taxes without law or reason, 
drove the sober to resistance and the passionate and unprin- 
cipled to outrage. But there were cases of injustice most 
foul and crying, that might palliate, where they could not 
justify, the violence that followed. 

^ The Regulators continued their resistance to illegal taxa- 
tion, two or three years. The better part of the community 
were averse to the irregularities of those lawless spirits, who> 
attaching themselves to the cause of liberty, greatly impeded 
its progress ; and desired to govern themselves and persuade 
iheir neighbours by reason, to gain the justice they demanded. 
But tumult, and violence, and rebellion followed ; the Regu- 
lators prevented the setting of courts, and otherwise ob- 
structed the execution of the laws. Governor Tryon met 
them on the 16th May, 1771, on the Alamance. They num- 
bered between two and three thousand. The governor's 
troops were something less. The Regulators, being poorly 
armed, undisciplined and without commanders of skill or 
experience, were defeated. ''It is the unvarying tradition 
among the people of the country, that they had but little am- * 
munition, and did not flee until it was all expended. Nine of 
them, and twenty-seven of the militia, were left dead on the 
field ; a great number were wounded on both sides in this first 
battle — in this first blood shed for the enjoyment of liberty. 
We cannot but admire the principles that led to the result, 
how much soever we may deplore the excesses that preceded 
and the bloodshed itself* 

The conduct of the Regulators is viewed in the same light 
liy an American historian, who from his official position at 
the Court of St. James, has had the opportunity of examining 
in the British State Paper Oflice, all the documents pertaining 
t6 the " Regulation." He says, speaking of them : '* Their 
eomplaints were well founded, and were so acknowledged^ 
though their oppressors were only nominally punished. They 
form the connecting link between resistance to the Stamp 
Act, and the movement of 1775 ; and they also played a 



glorioas part in taking possession of the Mississippi val- 
ley, towards which they were carried irresistibly by their 
love of independence. It is a mistake if any have supposed 
that the Regulators were cowed down by their defeat at the 
Alamance. Like the mammoth, they shook the bolt from 
their brow and crossed the mountains.*** 

Thus early did a great political wrong — ^ taxation without 
representation" — ulcerate the minds of the subjects of the King 
in all the American colonies. A little later, did regal oppres- 
sion, in exorbitant and illegal fees of Crown officers and their 
deputies, produce disaffection and resistance in Western Ga^ 
rolina. The defeat of the Regulators on the Alamance quelled, 
\ for a time, the spirit of resistance ; but the disaffection re- 
mained, and caused the voluntary exile of thousands of indigo 
nant and independent freemen to the western wilds. Re- 
mote from the seat of power, and free from the oppressions of 
regal officers, Watauga gave its cordial welcome to these 
honest-hearted and virtuous patriots : and here was the cm- 
die of the infant Hercules — ^Tennessee. 

The tide of emigration continued from Southern Virginia^ 

> ( and from the country near the sources of the Yadkin 

I and Catawba, in North-Carolina, and was spreading 
itself beyond the limits assigned to the white inhabitants, by 
the treaty of Hard Labour, in 1768. Some of the settlements 
were within what was supposed to be the Indian territory, 
and the Cherokees began to remonstrate against the encroach- 
ment. To avoid Indian resentment, and to prevent hostilities 
on the part of the Cherokees, the Superintendent of Southern In- 
dian Affairs took measures to establish a new boundary further 
^1 west. The treaty of Lochaber was signed on the 18th of Octo- 
ber, 1770, by the cotmciTof the chiefs, warriors, and head men 
of the Cherokee nation. The new line commenced on the south 
branch of Holston river, six miles east of Long Island — ^thence 
to the mouth of the Great Kenhawa.t This boundary — ^the 
western limit of the frontier settlements of Virginia and North- 
Carolina — was a feeble barrier against the approaches of the 
emigrants, who came in greatly increased numbers to the 
West. The Holston river was considered as the line^dividing 

* Letter to D. L. Swain, Esq., from Mr. Bancroft. ^liMonette. 



North-Carolina and Virginia. An act of the Legislature of 
this Province, allowed every actual settler having a log cabin 
erected, and any portion of ground in cultivation, the right of 
four hundred acres of land, and so located as to include his 
improvement. A subsequent act extended the privilege much 
further — ^allowing such owner and occupant the preference 
right of purchasing a thousand acres adjoining him, at such 
cost as scarcely exceeded the expense of selecting and sur- 
veying it. These acts greatly encouraged emigration to the 
West, where every man, with the least industry, could not , 
fail to secure to himself a comfortable home and a valuable 
estate for his children. Crowds of emigrants immediately 
advanced to secure the proffered bounty.* When the line 
was afterwards run, many of these were found to be within 
the limits of North-Carolina. 

But the misgoverned Province of North-Carolina sent forth 
most of the emigrants to Watauga. The poor came in search 
of independence — others to repair their broken fortunes — the 
aspiring, to attain respectability, unattainable in the country 
of their nativity. In the wilderness beyond the mountain, 
they promised themselves, at least, exemption from the super- 
cilious annoyance of those who claimed a pre-eminence above 
them.f Others came prompted by the noble ambition of form- 
ing a new community, of laying broad and deep the founda- 
tion of government, and of acquiring, under it, distinction and 
consequence for themselves and their children. 

Amongst those that reached Watauga about this time, was 
Daniel Boon, who had previously crossed the mountain upon 
a hunting excursion, and had been as low ai% Boon's Creek, 
in the present county of Washington. He acted as pilot to 
the new settlements, and continued the pioneer to civilization, 
from the Yadkin to the district of St. Charles, in Missouri, 
where he ended his remarkable and eventful life, in 1820, in 
the eighty-sixth year of his age. 

A little after Boon, and early in 1770, came also James ,*\ 
Robertson, from Wake county, North-Carolina. "He is the 
same person,** to use the language of Haywood, who 
was his countryman, and knew him well, " who will ap- 

* Monette. f Haywood. 


pear hereafter by his aotions, to have merited all the eulo- 
gium, esteem and affection, which the most ardent of his coun- 
trymen have ever bestowed upon him. Like almost all those 
in America who have attained eminent celebrity, he had not 
a noble lineage to boast of, nor the escutcheoned armorials 
of a splendid ancestry. But he had what was far more val- 
uable : a sound mind, healthy constitution, a robust frame, a 
love of virtue, an intrepid soul, and an emulous desire for 
honest fame. He visited the delightful country on the wa- 
ters of Holston, to view the new settlements which then 
began to be formed on the Watauga. Here he found one 
Honeycut living in a hut, who furnis ed him with food. He 
made a crop there the first year. On re-crossing the moun- 
tains he got lost for some time, and coming to a precipicet 
over which his horse could not be led, he left him there and 
travelled on foot. His powder was wetted by repeated show- 
ers and could not be used in the procurement of game for 
food. Fourteen days he wandered without eating, till he 
was so much reduced and weakened that he began seriously 
to despair of reaching his home again. But there is a Provi- 
dence which rules over the destinies of men, and preserves 
them to run the race appointed for them. Unpromising as 
were the prospects of James Robertson, at that timer, having 
neither learning, experience, property, nor friends to give 
him countenance, and with spirits drooping under the pres- 
sure of penury and a low estate, yet the God of nature had 
given him an elevated soul, and planted in it the seeds of vir- 
tue, which made him in the midst of discouraging circum- 
stances look forward to better times. He was accidentally 
met by two hunters, on whom he could not, without much 
and pressing solicitation, prevail so far as to be permitted to 
ride on one of their horses. They gave him food, of which he 
ate sparingly for some days, till his strength and spirits returned 
to him. This is the man who will figure in the future so de- 
servedly as the greatest benefactor of the first settlers of the 
country. He reached home in safety, and soon afterwards 
returned to Watauga with a few others, and there settled." 

While a nucleus of a civilized community was thus being 
formed in what is now East Tennessee, the adventurous 


hnnters whom we left upon the Lower Cumberland were 
extending explorations in that part of the country. In 1769 
or 1770, Mr. Mansco, Uriah Stone, John Baker, Thomas Gor- 
don, Humphrey Hogan, Cash Brook, and others, ten in all, 
built two boats and two trapping canoes, loaded them with 
the results of their hunting, and descended the Cumberland 
river — the first navigation, and the first commerce probably 
ever carried on upon that stream by Anglo-Americans. 
Where Nashville now stands they discovered the French 
lick, and found around it immense numbers of buffalo and 
other wild game. The country was crowded with them. 
Their bellowings sounded from the hills and forest. On the 
mound near the Lick the voyageurs found a stock fort, built, 
as they conjectured, by the Cherokees, on their retreat from 
the battle at the Chickasaw Old Fields. Descending to the 
Ohio, they met with John Brown, the Mountain-leader, and 
twenty-five other warriors, marching against the iSenekas. 
The Indians offered them no personal injury, but robbed 
them of two guns, some ammunition, salt and tobacco. De- 
scending the river, they met Frenchmen trading to the Illi- 
nois, who treated them with friendship. The voyage was 
prosecuted as low as the Spanish Natches. Here some of 
them remained, while Mansco and Baker returned by the way 
of the Keowee towns to New River. 

In the fall of this year the country on the Lower Cumber- 
1771 i '*°^ ^^^ further explored by Mansco, in company with 
^ C John Montgomery, Isaac Bledsoe, Joseph Drake, Hen- 

ry Suggs, James Knox, William and David Linch, Christo- 
pher Stoph, William Allen, and others. Among them was 
an old hunter named Russell, who was so dim-sighted that 
he was obliged to tie a piece of white paper at the muzzle 
of his gun to direct his sight at the game — ^and yet he killed a 
number of deer. The winter being inclement, the party built 
a skin house. Their ammunition being exhausted, five men 
were lefl to take care of the camp, while the rest returned 
home. During their absence in the settlements the camp 
was attacked, as was supposed, by Northern Indians, and 
Stoph and Allen were taken prisoners. Hughes escaped, 
and aUdt the company returning to the camp. It was found 


€18 it bad been left — ^tbe Indians bad not plundered it. The 
party thence extended their bunting and exploring excur- 
sions — formed a station camp upon a creek, which is still 
known as Station Camp Greek — each hunter made a discov- 
ery, and time has signalized it with the discoverer's name. 
Thus, Drake's Pond, Drake's Lick, Bledsoe's Lick, Manseo's 
Lick, etc. In the absence of* the hunters, twenty-five 
Cherokees came to their camp, and plundered it of ammuni- 
tion, skins, and every thing it contained. As they left no 
trail, it was supposed that they had retreated by wading 
along the channel of the creek — no pursuit of them could be 
made. The hunters soon exhausted the remaining ammuni- 
tion and returned to the settlements. 

The Holston and Watauga settlements were in the -mean- 
^^f^ ( time receiving a steady stream of emigrants. They em- 
( braced within their limits men of very different and in- 
deed opposite traits of character. Most of them were honest, 
industrious, enterprising men, who had come there to improve 
their condition, by subduing and cultivating the new lands in 
I the West. But others had arrived among them, who had fled 

\ from justice in their own country, and hoped to escape the 

j demand of the law, and the punishment of crime, by a re- 

treat to these remote and inaccessible frontiers. There, from 
the existing condition of affairs, they found safety from prose- 
cution, and certainly from conviction through the regular 
channels of law. North of Holston, in what is now Sullivan 
and Hawkins counties, was then believed to be in Virginia^ 
and the inhabitants agreed among themselves to adhere w 
the government of that province, and to be governed by its 
laws. The line separating the two provinces had not then 
been extended west of the Steep Rock. South of Holston 
was admitted to be within the boundaries of North-Carolina. I 
There the settlers liyed without law or protection, except byJ 
regulations of their own adoption. Being thus without any 
regular government, the people of Watauga, in 1772, exer-^A 
cised the ** divine right" of governing themselves. They 
^ formed a written association and articles for the manage- 

ment of general affairs. Five Commissioners were appointed, 
^ by the decision of a majority of whom all matters in contro- 



veray were settled; and the same tribunal had entire control 
in all matters affecting the common good. The government 
was paternal and patriarchal — simple and moderate, but 
summary and firm. It was satisfactory and sufficient for a 
number of years. The Articles by which the Association 
was governed have not been preserved. They formed, it is * 
believedy the first written compact for civil government any 
where west of the AUeghanics, and would make a valuable 
and exceedingly interesting contribution to the historical lite- 
rature of the Great West, and a most desirable addition es- 
pecially to these annals. But after the most diligent inquiry 
and patient search, this writer has been unable to discover 
them. ^ 

The Watauga settlers, in convention assembled, elected as , 
Commissioners, thirteen citizens. They were, John Carter, 
Charles Robertson, James Robertson, Zach. Isbell, John Se- 
▼ier, James Smith, Jacob Brown, William Bean, John Jones, 
Greorge Russell, Jacob Womack, Robert Lucas, William Ta- 
tham. Of these, John Garter, Charles Robertson, James Rob- 
ertson, Zach. Isbell, and John Sevier, it is believed, were se- 
lected as the court — of which W Tatham was the clerk. It 
is to be regrettedVhat the account of thelives of all these pio- 
neers is 'bo meagre and unsatisfactory. The biography of 
each of them would be now valuable and interesting. Many 
of them will be hereafter frequently mentioned. 

CfA. John Carter was one of the pioneers of Tennessee^ * 
( and a principal and prominent member of the Watau- 
( ga settlement. He emigrated from Virginia, in 1771 
or 1772. Intelligent and patriotic, he was soon a leader in 
the Watauga Association, and became the chairman of its 
committee and of the court — which, for several years, com- 
bined the legislative, judicial and executive functions of the 
infant government west of the Alleghany. His administra- 
tion was wise and popular. 

Charles Robertson emigrated from South-Carolina — was ^ 
the Trustee of the Watauga Association ; and to him was the 
conveyance afterwards made by the Cherokee Indians, for the 
lands purchased or leased from them. He was distinguished for 
his great good sense and wisdom, not less than for his virtue. 


0( James Robertson we have already spoken. He sooii1>e- 
came distinguished in the nev^r settlement, for sobriety and love 
of order, as well as for a firmness of character, qualifying him 
to face danger and defend the feeble colony. 

Zachariuh Isbell was a fearless soldier, and was, for years 
after, engaged in the military operations of the country. 

John Sevier was one of the Watauga Committee. His char- 
acter and services throughout a long life, will be fVeqnently 
a theme of remark to the close of these annals. This may, 
therefore, be the proper place to introduce his family to the 
reader's attention. 

The ancestors of Mr. Sevier were French Haguenots. The 
family name in France, is Xavier. About the beginning of 
the last century they emigrated to England. Valentine Se- 
vier, the father of John, was born in Liondon, and preyiods to 
1740, emigrated to the county of Shanandoah, in the colony 
of Virginia. Here John Sevier was born, in the year 1744. 
The opportunity of literary improvement was small, but he 
used it diligently. The Earl of Dunmore, then Governor of 
Virginia, conferred upon young Sevier the appointment of 
captain in the military service of the colony. Not long after, 
the family emigrated to the West, and s^led on Holston, in 
what is now Sullivan county. The father, Valentine Sevier, 
moved from there to Watauga, where he settled permanently* 
occupying a farm on that river, between the Sycamore Shoals 
and the present Elizabethton. The remains of part of the 
old family mansion could be traced in 1644. 

Captain Sevier inherited some of the vivacity, ease and 
sprightliness of his French ancestry. He was fluent, collo- 
quial and gallant — frolicsome, generous and convivial — well 
informed, rather than well read. Of books, he knew little. 
Men, he had studied well and accurately. Oral communica- 
tions had been the source of his mental culture and his know- 
ledge. He was injpulsive, but his impulses were high and 
honourable. The Chevalier and the Huguenot were combined 
in his character. He exhibited, in good proportions, the suav- 
iter in mode and the fortiter in re. He was without pride 
— if that feeling is not one of the ingredients that constitute 
a laudable ambition — for he was ambitious — not of anything 



low or ii^oble : he was ambitions of fame, character, distinc- 
tion and achievement. 

With such traits of character, it is not strange that Captain 
Sevier at once became a favourite in the wilds of Watauga, 
where a theatre presented itself for the exercise of the talents 
and principles which characterized '' that portly young stran- 
ger from Williamsburg." 

Early in this year the authorities of Virginia made a 
( treaty with the Cherokees-, by which a boundary was | / 
( fixed between them, to run west from the White Top 
Mountain, in latitude thirty-six degrees thirty minutes. Soon 
after this, Alexander Cameron, a deputy agent for the 
government of Great Britain, and resident among the Chero- 
keeSy ordered the Watauga settlers to move off. Some of 
the Cherokees expressed a wish that they might be permitted 
to stay, if they would agree to make no further encroach- 
metits; this avoided the necessity of their removal. The 
inluibitants, however, became uneasy at the precarious te* 
nvre by which they occupied their land, and desired to obtain 
a more permanent title. For this purpose they deputed 
James Robertson and John Boon to negotiate with the Indians 
for a lease. The negotiation succeeded, and for an amount 
of merchandize, estimated to be worth five or six thousand 
dollars, some muskets, and other articles of convenience, the 
Cherokees made a lease for eight years of all the country on 
the waters of the Watauga.* 

Hitherto the settlements had been confined to the Upper 
Hobton and to the Watauga. About this time another 
stream south of them was found to present strong allure- 
ments^ and to hold out great inducements to emigrants to 
settle upon it The NoUichucky finds its source in the midst 
of the highest mountains in the United States. The scenery 
near it is romantic and Alpine. Its numerous tributaries, 
deseending the northern slope of these stupendous heights, 
bear opon their currents the soil that forms and enlarges its 
rich alluvial. The bottoms were covered with the most 
luxariant cane-brakes ; the vallies near it abounded in game, 
and presented the most inviting prospect of present success 

* Haywood. 


to the hunter and grazier, and of a rich requital in future 
for the toils of the husbandman. The temptation to occupy 
it could not be resisted by the emigrants, and Jacob Brown, 
with one or two families from North-Carolina, pitched their 
tents, in 1772, upon its northern bank. Brown was a small 
merchant, and for the goods that were carried to his new 
settlement, upon a single pack-horse, bought a lease of a 
large tract of this fertile country from the Cherokees. Like 
jthat on the Watauga, the property advanced for its purchase,, 
Iwas reimbursed by selling out the lands in small parcels to 
individuals for the time the lease was to last. 

The boundaries of these two leases are not distinctly 
known. There were no offices in the country at that tiDe^ 
in which such instruments of writing could be recorded* and 
the original papers have probably been lost Brown's lease 
is believed to have embraced lands upon both sides of the 
Nollichucky. The writer has a deed of conveyance now 
before him, from Jacob Brown to Richard Trivillian, for two 
hundred and thirty-two acres of land, lying on the south side 
of the river. The consideration is one hundred pounds, and 
the title is not a fee simple, but only a relinquishment on the 
part of the grantor. In these early times, and among thess 
primitive people, little regard seems to have been given to 
forms, even where real estate was concerned. A transfer of 
land was made in the most simple mode. Upon the back of 
the same deed from Brown, is endorsed — 

" For value received of eighty-five pounds, I do hereby assign all, my 
right, claim and interest of the within deed, unto George Gillespie, as 
witness my hand and seal. * 

RioBABD Trivilliak. (SeaL) 
Witness present test, 

Amos BniD." 

And again immediately below — 

" For value received, of Jeremiah Jack, I do hereby assign aU mr 
right, claim and interest of the within deed, as witness my hand and seaL 

GsoBGE GiLLKBPiE. (Seal.) 
Witness present, 

Thos. Gillespie.'' 

The present name of the river is a corruption of the abo- 


riffinal Nonachunheh. It is so given in Brown's deed of con- 
veyance, and also in the plat upon the same paper. In his 
traffic with the Indians, and in his negotiation for the lease 
from them, Brown had, doubtless, learned the true pronunci- 
ation* Its signification is rapid or precipitous, and is exactly 
descriptive of the upper portion of the stream. 

About the time Robertson was forming his settlement on | 
Watauga, and a little previous to the first emigration to 
NoUichucky, several families settled in Carter's Valley, fif- 
teen or eighteen miles above the present flourishing town 
of Rogeraville. This country being north of Holston, was 
then believed to be in Virginia. The first emigrants to it 
were principally from that province. Two of them, Gar- 
ter (whose name the valley still retains) and Parker, after- 
wards opened a store, which was robbed by the Indians ; the 
depredators were supposed to be Cherokees, but of this no 
certain proof was obtained. The relations between them 
and the whites had recently been of the most friendly char- / 
aeter, and mutual confidence was not destroyed on account 
of this robbery. But at the time when the Watauga 
lease was executed, an occurrence^ took place, which had 
wen nigh involved the then feeble settlements of Robertson, 
Carter and Brown, in hostilities with their savage neighbours. 
At the close of that treaty, a great race was appointed to be 
run at Watauga. The occasion had brought together a large 
oonconrse of people from all the acfjacent settlements. Many 
of the Indians were still there participating in the athletic 
amusements of the frontier people. Mischievous white men, 
from the neighbourhood of the Wolf Hills, in Virginia, as was 
believed, among others were present, and lurking about the 
place where the race was run, watched an opportunity at 
the close of the day and killed one of the Indians. This act, 
alike atrocious, inhuman and impolitic, gave great offence and 
produced much alarm. The inhabitants felt that it was not 
only wrong, but that it would expose them to the retaliatory 
vengeance of the outraged Cherokees. At this crisis the wis- 
dom and intrepidity of Robertson saved the infant? settle- 
ments from extermination. He undertook a jouiTiey to the 
Indian nation, one hundred and fifty miles distant, in order to 


pacify them, and allay the irritation produced by this bar- 
barous and imprudent act. The attempt was hazardoes in 
the extreme ; but the safety of the whites demanded the mis- 
sion, and he proceeded at once to the chief town of the Che-^ 
rokees, met their head men, and declared to them that his 
' people '* viewed the horrid deed which had been perpetrated^ 
I with the deepest concern for their own character, and with 
the keenest indignation against the offender, whom they in- 
tended to punish as he deserved whenever he could be dii- 
covered." The Indians were appeased by this instance of 
condescension in the white people, and of the discountenance 
which they gave to the miscreant. The settlers were saved 
from their fury, and Robertson began to be looked upon as 
an intrepid soldier, a lover of his countrymen, and as a man 
of uncommon address, in devising means of extrication from 
In the fall of 1778, Daniel Boon made the attempt to take 
\ 1773 ) his family to Kentucky. Before this time no white 
9 female, no family, had crossed the Cumberland range. 
Boon prevailed on four or five other families to join him, and 
with Uiem advanced towards Cumberland Gap. The. little 
colony was joined in Powell's Valley by forty hunters, well 
armed. The whole formed a caravan of eighty persons. 
While passing a narrow defile in their march, on the fifth of 
October, they were startled by the terrific yell of Indians, in 
ambuscade, by whom they were furiously assailed. Some 
of the men flew to the protection of the helpless women and 
children, while others of them rushed to encounter the enemy 
in their coverts. A scene of consternation and confusion for 
a moment ensued ; but the Indians, surprised at the fierce 
and resolute resistance of the men, soon fled in every direo* 

. The first fire of the Indians killed six men and wounded 
the seventh. Among the killed was a son of Boon, aged 
about twenty. The party fell back to the nearest settlement, 
where the emigrant families remained till after the close of 
Lord Dunmore's war.f 
After the extension of the British dominion over West 

' ^Hajwood. fMonette. 


Florida, enconragement was given by the English authori- 
ties to emigration thereto, from the Atlantic Provinces. No 
country sarpassed in soil and climate that portion of Florida 
lying npon the Mississippi River, and emigrants began to 
seek a ronte to it through the interior, and down the Ten- 
nessee and Ohio. Many of these stopped one season and 
made a crop on Holston, sold the crop, built a boat, and per- 
formed the dijQicult and dangerous voyoge from the Boat- 
yard to Natches. A higher degree of nautical adventure 
lias been no where exhibited. The passage, by men unac- 
eostomed to navigation, through the Boiling Pot, the Skillet^ 
the Suck, the Muscle Shoals, more than two thousand miles 
down an unexplored river, both banks of which were, at these 
places, in the occupancy of Indians, was more than an adven- 
ture, it was an enterprise, in which every movement was ac- 
companied with danger and probable disaster. Through this 
channel Louisiana and Mississippi received some of the 
oldest American families. Some of these came from the 
Roanoke, in North-Carolina, and it was probably the first An- 
glo-American settlement upon the banks of the Mississippi.* 
A large number of surveyors and woodsmen had been 
( sent under tha authorities of Virginia to the wilder- 
( ness of Kentucky, for the purpose of locating and 
selecting lands under royal grants and military warrants. 
This was viewed by the Indians as an encroachment upon 
their rights, as they still claimed these lands. Hostilities had, 
indeed, already been commenced by the Shawnees, who at- 
tacked the party of Boon the October previous. The murder 
of the whole family of the generous, but unfortunate Logan^ 
who had been the friend of the whites, and an advocate for 
peace among his red brethren, aroused the vengeance of that 
bold warrior and influential chieftain. The Shawnees, in 
alliance with the warriors of other northern and western 
tribes, began the work of destruction and massacre, in de- 
tached parties, on the whole Virginia frontier. The emer- 
gency was met by Lord Dunmore with great vigour, and 
measures were immediately adopted to repress the hostilities; 
and punish the audacity of the enemy. General Andrew 

* Martin'B Tioniiiana. 


114 cAPTAiy bhelbt's volunteers. 

Lewis* was ordered to raise four regiments of militia and 
volunteers, from the south-western counties, to rendezvous at 
Gamp Union, and to march down the Great Kenhawaf to 
the Ohio. Captain Evan Shelby raised a company of more 
than fifty men, in the section of country now included in the 
counties of Sullivan and Carter. With these he marched 
on the 17th of August, and joined the regiment of Colonel 
Christian, on New River. From this place the regiment pro- 
ceeded to the great levels of Green Brier, where they joined 
the army of General Lewis. On the 11th of September, the 
army set out for the designated point. The route lay through 
a trackless wilderness, down the rugged banks of the Ken- 
hawa — through deep defiles and mountain gorges, where a 
pathway had never been opened. Twenty-five days were 
consumed in slow and toilsome marches. On the 6th of Oc- 
tober, the army reached the Ohio and encamped upon its 
banks. The camp was upon the site of the present town of 
Point Pleasant. The troops being upon short allowance, 
select parties of hunters were kept constantly on duty to 
supply them with food. On the morning of the 10th, about 
daylight, two of the men belonging to Captain Shelby's vol- 
unteer company, James Robertson and Valentine Sevier, 
who had been out before day hunting, very unexpectedly 
met a large body of hostile Indians advancing towards the 
camp upon the provincials. They were on the extreme left 
of the enemy, and fired on them at the distance of ten steps. 
As it was yet too dark to see the assailants, or to know their 
number, the firing caused a general halt of the enemy, while 
Robertson and Sevier ran into camp and gave the alarm. 
Two detachments, under Colonel Charles Lewis and Colonel 
William Fleming, were immediately ordered forward to meet 
the Indians, and break the force of their assault upon the 
camp. These detachments had scarcely proceeded beyond 
the sentinels, when they encountered the enemy advancing 
upon them. A most violent and hard fought engagement 

* This ia the aame person who was sent by the Earl of Loudon, in 1756, to 
erect a fort on the Tennessee River, 
t Angliee. The river of the woods — now known as New 


ensued. Fleming and Lewis were wounded in the first as- 
sault — ^the latter mortally — but refused to leave the field 
until the main line came to their relief. The contest lasted 
the whole day, with varied success — each line receding or 
advancing alternately, as the fate of war seemed to balance 
between the two armies. In the evening, General Lewis 
ordered the companies commanded by Captains Shelby, 
Matthews and Stewart, to advance up the Kenhawa River, 
under the shelter of the bank and the undergrowth, so as to 
gain the rear of the Indians, and ppur in a destructive fire 
upon them. In the execution of this order, the men were ex- 
posed to a galling fire from some Indians, who had taken 
position behind a rude breast- work of old logs and bushes, 
and were from that point giving a deadly fire* One of Shel- 
by's men, the late John Sawyers, of Knox county, wishing 
to shorten the conflict, obtained permission to take a few 
others and dislodge the Indians from the shelter which pro- 
tected them. His bold conception was gallantly executed. 
A desperate charge was made — the dislodgement of the In- 
dians was effected, and the three companies having gained the 
enemy's rear, poured in upon the savages a destructive fire. 
The Indians fled with great precipitation across the Ohio, 
and retreated to their towns on the Scioto. 

The battle of the Kenhawa is, by general consent, admitted 
to have been one of the most sanguinary and well contested 
battles which have marked the annals of Indian warfare in 
the West On the part of the provincials, twelve commis- 
sioned officers were killed or wounded, seventy-five non-com- 
missioned officers and privates were killed, and one hundred 
and forty-one were wounded.* 

Of the company of volunteers from what is now East 
Tennessee, Evan Shelby was captain; and his son, Isaac 
Shelby, lieutenant. After the fall of his colonel, Captain 
Shelby took command of the regiment. This was early in 
the action, and through the rest of the day Isaac Shelby 
commanded his father's company. **Two privates, Robertson 
and Sevier, had the good fortune on this occasion to make 

* Monette. 


an unexpected discovery of the enemy, and by that means to 
prevent surprise and defeat, and possibly the destruction of 
the whole army. It was the design of the enemy to attack 
them at the dawn of day, and to force all whom they could 
not kill into the junction of the river." The heroic charge 
of the little detachment under Sawyers is admitted to have 
had a decided influence in shortening the obstinate conflict. 
JVf any of the officers and soldiers in the battle of Kenhawa, 
distinguished themselves at a later period in the public ser- 
vice. Thus early did the ''Volunteer State" commence its 
novitiate in arms. 
! As the battle of Point Pleasant furnished the first occa- 
sion for the display, by the pioneers of Tennessee, of the ad- 
venture and prowess which have since so signally charac- 
terized her volunteer soldiery in all periods of her history, it 
is thought proper to present, at this place, a list of Captain 
Evan Shelby's company, in the remarkable and patrioty; 
campaign on the Kenhawa. 

James Shelby, John Sawyers, John Findley, Henry Span, 
Daniel Mungle, Frederick M ungle, John Williams, John Ca- 
mack, Andre^w Torrence, George Brooks, Isaac Newland, 
Abram Newland, George Ruddle, Emanuel Shoatt, Abram 
Bogard, Peter Forney, William Tucker, John Fain, Samuel 
Vance, Samuel Fain, Samuel Handley, Samuel Samples, Ar- 
thur Blackburn, Robert Handley, George Armstrong, William 
Casey, Mack Williams, John Stewart, Conrad Nave, Richard 
Burk, John Riley, Elijah Robertson, Rees Price, Richard Hol- 
liway, Jarret Williams, Julius Robison, Charles Fielder, Ben- 
jamin Graham, Andrew Goff, Hugh O'Gullion, Patk. St, 
Lawrence, James Hughey, John Bradley, Basileel Maywell, 
and Barnett O'Gullion. Of the non-commissioned officers; 
it is only known that John Sawyers, James Robertson, and 
Valentine Sevier, were three of the orderly sergeants. 

Afler the battle at Point Pleasant, and a further invasion 
1M6 I ^^ ^^^^^ country, the Indians made a treaty with Lord 
5 Dunmore, in which they relinquished all their claim 
to lands south of the Ohio. To a large extent of this terri- 
tory, the Cherokees, with other southern tribes, pretended 

Henderson's purchase. 117 

also to hold title. Early in that century they had expelled 
the ShawneeSy and had since occupied their country as hunt- 
ing grounds. Daniel Boon still adhered to his darling pro- 
ject of planting a colony upon the Kentucky River, which he 
had seen, and, desirous of obtaining the consent of the Chero- 
kees; had stimulated Colonel Richard Henderson and others 
of North-Carolina, to effect a treaty with them for that pur- 
pose. Henderson, accordingly, associated with him other 
men of capital, viz : Thomas Hart, John Williams, James 
Hogg, Nathaniel Hart, David Hart, Leonard H. Bulloch, 
John Luttrell and William Johnston. Two of these, Colonel 
Henderson and Colonel Nathaniel Hart, accompanied by 
Daniel Boon, proceeded to the Cherokee towns, and proposed 
a general council, for the purpose of purchasing land. Sub- 
sequently, on the 17th of March, a treaty was concluded 
and signed by the agents of this compan}f on the one part^ 
and by certain chiefs and warriors of the Cherokee nation on 
the other part, at the Sycamore Shoals, on Watauga River. 
By this treaty, the Indians agreed to cede and relinquish to 
the associates all the lands lying between the Kentucky and 
the Cumberland Rivers. " Which said tract or territory of 
lands was, at the time of said purchase, and time out of mind 
had been, the land and hunting grounds of the said tribe of 
Cherokee Indians." In consideration of this cession, ten 
thousand pounds sterling were alleged to have been paid in 
merchandise. Twelve hundred Indians are said to have been 
assembled on the treaty ground.* Upon this occasion, and 
l>efore the Indians had agreed to make the cession, one of 
the Cherokee orators, said to be Oconostota, rose and deliver- 
ed a very animated and pathetic speech. He began with 
the very flourishing state in which his nation once was, and 
mentioned the encroachments of the white people, from time 
to time, upon the retiring and expiring nations of Indians, 
i¥ho left their homes and the seats of their ancestors, to gra- 
tify the insatiable desire of the white people for more land. 
Whole nations had melted away in their presence, like balls 
of snow before the sun, and had scarcely left their names 
behind, except as imperfectly recorded by their enemies and 

* Monette. 



destroyers. It was once hoped that they would not be will- 
ing to travel beyond the mountains, so far from the ocean on 
which their commerce was carried on, and their connections 
maintained with the nations of Europe. But now that falla- 
cious hope had vanished ; they had passed the mountains 
and settled upon the Cherokee lands, and wished to have 
their usurpations sanctioned by the confirmation of a treaty. 
When that shall be obtained, the same encroaching spirit 
will lead them upon other lands of the Cherokees. New 
cessions will be applied for, and, finally, the country which 
the Cherokees and their forefathers had so long occupied, 
would be called for, and the small remnant which then may 
exist of this nation, once so great and formidable, will be 

^ compelled to seek a retreat in some far-distant wilderness, 
there to dwell bilt a short space of time, before they would 
again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy 
host, who, not being able to point out any further retreat for 
the miserable Cherokees, would then proclaim the extinction 
of the whole race. He ended with a strong exhortation to 
run all risks, and to incur all consequences, rather than sub- 
mit to any further dilaceration of their territory.* 

The speech of the Venerable chieftain was listened to by 
his assembled countrymen, with profound attention and mark- 
ed respect. His counsels were disregarded : the cession was 
made. The future of his tribe, as delineated by his vehement 
eloquence, seems now, after the lapse of three quarters of a 
century ,to be stamped with the inspiration of prophecy. The 
cotemporaries of Oconostota have left "the lands which 
their forefathers had so long occupied,'' and their bones are 
mouldering " in some far-distant wilderness" beyond the Mis- 

^ The proprietors of Transylvania, as Henderson^s purchase 
was called, at first contemplated the establishment of a sepa- 
rate and independent government, not materially dissimilar 
from the other British colonies. In a memorial, however, ad- 
dressed to the Continental Congress of 1776, they took care to 
request that Transylvania might be added to the number of 
the United Colonies. " Having their hearts warmed with the 



same noble spirit that animates the colonies" — such is their 
language — ** and moved with indignation at th^ late ministe- 
rial and parliamentary usurpations, it is the earnest wish of 
the proprietors of Transylvania to be considered by the colo- 
nies as brethren engaged in the same great cause of liberty 
and mankind." * 

During the treaty at the Sycamore Shoals, Parker & Carter, 
whose store had been robbed by jhe Indians, attended the con- 
ference, and demanded, in compensation for the injury they 
had sustained, Garter's Valley — to extend from Cloud's Creek 
to the Chimney-top Mountain of Beech Creek. The Indians 
consented, provided an additional consideration were given. 
This consideration was agreed to, and Robert Lucas was 
taken in as a partner, to enable them to advance the stipulated 
price. They, leased their lands to job-purchasers. It was» 
however, afterwards ascertained that the lands thus leased 
lay in North-Carolina and not in Virginia ; and the purcha- 
sers refused to hold under them, and drove them off. 

The Watauga Association, holding the lands which they 
occupied, under a lease of eight years, as has been heretofore 
stated, desired to obtain for them a title in fee. They pro- 
cured, two days after the purchase was made by Henderson 
& Co., a deed of conveyance to Charles Robertson, for a large 
extent of country. It is found in the Register's office of Wash- 
ington county. 

"land reookds of the watauoah purchase. 

"This Indenture, made the 19th day of March, 1775, by O-con-os-to" 
1716 i **» Chief Warrior and First Representative of the Cherokee Na" 
( tion or Tribe of Indians, and Attacullecully and Savanucah, oth- 
erwiw Coronoh, for themselves and the rest of the vfhole Nation, being 
the aborigineB and sole owners by occupancy from the beginning of timoi 
of the lands on the waters of Holston and Wataugah Rivers, and other 
lands thereunto belonging, of the one part, and Charles Robertson, of the 
settlement of Wataugah, of the other part, Witnesseth, Arc." The con- 
nderatioD was " the sum of two thousand pounds, lawful money of QtetA 
Britain, in hand paid." The deed embraced '^ all that tract, territory or 
parcel of land, on the waters of Wataugah, Holston and Great Canaway 
or New River : beginning on the south or south-west side of Holston 
Bifer, six English miles above Long Island, in said river ; thence a direct 
line near a south course to the ridge which divides the waters of Watau- 

* Morehead's Addren^ p. 86. 


gah from the waters of Nonachuckeh ; thence along the various comrsos 
of said ridge nearly a south-east course totheBluel&dge or line dividing 
North-Carolina from the Cherokee lands; thence along the various coursea 
of said ridge to the Virginia line ; thence west along the Virginia line 
to Holston River; thence down the meanders of Hol8V>n River to the first 
station, including all the waters of Wataugah, part of the waters of Hol- 
ston and the head-branches of New River or Great Canaway, agreeable to 
the bounds aforesaid, to said Charles Robertson, his heirs and assigns," &o. 
^ ''And also, the said Charles Robertson, his heirs and assigns, shall and 
may, peaceably and quietly,^ have^ hold, possess and enjoy said premises, 
without let, trouble, hindrance or moliitation, interruption and denial, of 
them, the said Oconostota and the rest, or any of the said Nation." 
Signed in presence of 

John Sevier, Oconostota, his H mark. [SeaL] 

Wm, Bailst Smith, Attaoulleoully, his M mark. " 
Jesse Benton, Tennest Warrior, his M mark. ^ 

Tillman Dixon, Willinawauoh, his M mark. " 

William Bleyins, 
Th9b. Price. 
Jas. Vann, Linguister. 

The lands thus conveyed to Charles Robertson, were after- 
wards regularly patented to the settlers. Occupancy bad pro- 
bably heretofore given ownership. The first patentee was 
Joshua Haughton. The form of his patent is brief and sim* 
pie, and is given at length. 

*' Joshua Haughton, on the seventh day of May, 1775, obtained a 
pat ent from this office of a tract of land lying on the south side of the 
Wataugah, half a mile below the mouth of Doe River, which tract was 
entered by the said £[aughton, April 1, 1775, and obtained a warrant 
for surveying the same, a plan of which was returned to this office bj 
the hands of Wm. Bailey Smith, Surveyor. 

James Smith, C. L. 0." 

A list is given here of other patentees in their order : 
Thomas Haughton, Henry Grymes, Wm. Tacket, Matthew 
Talbot, Isaac Ruddle, Henry Lyle, John Sevier, John Carter 
and John Sevier, John Carter, George Russell, Wm. Bean» 
Andrew Greer, Robert Young, James Robertson, Ben. Ry- 
bum. Baptist McNabb, Edmond Roberts, John McNabb, 
Andrew Little, John Jones, James HoUis, John Cassada 
George Gray, Choat Gambal, Jonathan Tipton, Farrer, 
Fletcher, Thompson, Lincoln, Lucas Megsengall, Duncan 
Abbit, Walding Denton, Hodge, Bennet, Reaves, Gunning- 
bam, Jesse D. Benton, Catherine Choat. 

To the holders of patents thus given, a deed regularly 

bbown's pbincipality. 121 

drawn up, and signed by Charles Robertson, was made out. 
One of these is now before the writer, carefully drawn up 
and indented after the English style. The witnesses to it 
are John Sevier and J[. Smith. 

Another deed was made to Jacob Brown, for lands on both 
sides of Nonachunheh, and as far west as the mouth of Big 
Limestone Creek. 

^ This Indenture, made the 25tb day of March, 1775, between Ooo- 
nostota, chief warrior and head prince, the Tenesay Warrior, and Bread 
Slave Catcher, and Attakullakulla, and Chenesley, Cherokee chiefe of 
Middle and Lower Settlements, of the one part, and Jacob Brown, of No- 
nachuchy, of the other part — consideration ten shillings — a certain tract 
or parcel of land lying on Nonachuchy River, as follows : Beginning at 
the mouth of a creek called Great Limestone, running up the meanders 
of the said creek and the main fork of the creek to the ridge that divides 
Wstaogah and Nonachuchy, joining the Wataugah purchase, from 
thence up the dividing ridge that divides the waters of Nonachuchy 
and Wataugah, and thence to the head of Indian Creek, where it joins 
the Iron Mountain, thence down the said mountain to Nonachuchy 
river, thence across the said river including the creeks of said river, 
thence down the side of the Nonachuchy Mountain against the mouth 
of Great Limestone, thence to the beginning. 

Li presence of^ 

Samusl Crawford, Ocoonosto ia, [Seal.] 


Moses Crawford, The Bread Slave Catcher, " 

Zachart Isbell, Attakullakulla, " 

Chenesley. " 

" Witness the Warriors — ^Thomas Bulla, Joseph Vann, Richard Hen- 

Mr. Brown thus became the purchaser of a principality on 
Nonachunheh, embracing much of the best lands in Wash- 
ington and Greene counties. 

Another deed of the same date and between the same 
parties, conveys another tract of land *'lying on Nonachuchy 
River, below the mouth of Big Limestone, on both sides of 
said river, bounded as follows, joining the rest of said 
Brown's purchase. Beginning on the south side of said 
river, below the old fields that lie below the said Lime- 
stone, on the north side of Nonachuchy Mountain, at a large 
rock ; thence north thirty-two deg. west to the mouth of Camp 
Creek, on south side of said river ; thence across said river ; 
thence north-west to the dividing ridge between Lick Creek 
and Watauga or Holston ; thence up the dividing ridge 


to the rest of said Brown's lands ; thence down the main 

fork of Big Limestone to its mouth ; thence crossing the river 

a straight course to Nonachuchy Mountain ; thence down the 

said mountain to the beginning.** 

In the meantime, the British Parliament persisted in the 

1774 \ ^l^termination to tax the American colonies without 

( their consent. We copy or condense from Holmes : 

" The obnoxioiis port duties of 1767 had been repealed, excepting 
the duty of three pence a pound on tea, which was continued for the 
purpose' of maintaining the parliamentary right of taication. ' That 
import was continued to keep up the sovereignty,' and ' could neifier be 
opposed by the colonists, unless they were determined to rebel againflt 
Great Britain.' Such was the language of Lord North. But the jeal- 
ousy of the colonies was directed against the principle of the ministiyy 
which was as discernible in the imposition of a small as of a laige da^« 
The partial repeal was, therefore, unsatisfactory, and combinations were 
formed in the prindpal commercial cities, to prevent the importation of 
the excepted article. One sentiment appears to have pervaded all tlie 
colonies. The ministerial plan was umversally considered as a direct 
attack upon the liberties of the American citizen, which it was the du^ 
of all to oppose. The tax was every where resisted, and at Boston the 
cargoes of tea were thrown into the dock. This act so provoked the 
British government that the city of Boston was selected as the first 
object of legislative vengeance. A bill was passed by which its harbour 
was closed. This bill excited universal indignation. At Philadelphia 
contributions were made for such poor inhabitants of Boston as were 
deprived, by the act, of the means of subsistence. The Assembly of 
Virginia resolved to observe the first day of its operation as a fast, and 
espoused the cause of Massachusetts by the declaration ' that an attack 
made on one of our sister colonies to compel submission to arbitrary 
taxes, is an attack made on all British America, and threatens ruin to 
the rights of all, unless the united wisdom of the whole be applied.' " 

They also proposed the meeting of a General Congress 
annually, to deliberate on those measures which the united 
interests of America might, from time to time, require. This 
recommendation of Virginia was gradually concurred with, 
from New-Hampshire to South-Carolina, and on the fifth 
^ day of September the first Continental Congress met in 
Philadelphia. A declaration of rights was soon agreed on ; 
the several acts of Parliament infringing and violating those 
rights recited, and the repeal of them resolved to be essen- 
tially necessary to the restoration of harmony between Great 
Britain and the colonies. They resolved further on an 
address to the king and to the people of Great Britain, and 


a memorial to the people of British America. These reso- 
lutions of the Continental Congress, received the general 
sanction of the Provincial Congresses and Colonial Assem- 
blies. Massachusetts took immediate measures for the 
defence of the province. The Assembly of Rhode Island 
passed resolutions for obtaining arms and military stores, 
and for raising and arming the inhabitants. In New-Hamp- 
shire similar precautions were taken. 

In the more southern colonies, signs of discontent and 
jealousy of the British government were strongly manifested. 
A meeting of the officers under the command of Lord Dun- 
more, resolved : — " That as the love of liberty and attachment 
to the real interests and just rights of America outweigh 
every other consideration, they would exert every power 
within them for the defence of American liberty and for the 
support of her just rights and privileges, not in any precipi- 
tate, riotous or tumultuous manner, but when regularly 
called forth by the unanimous voice of our countrymen.** 
The Provincial Congress of Maryland resolved : — " That if 
the late acts of Parliament shall be attempted to be exe- 
cuted by force, Maryland will aid such colony to the utmost 
extent of its. power ;" and further resolved to raise money 
for the purchase of arms and ammunition. In South-Carolina 
Judge Dra)rton, in a charge to a grand jury, said, in speaking 
of liberty : — " English people cannot he taxed, nay, cannot 
be bound by any law, unless by their consent, expressed by 
themselves or by the representatives of their own election. 
I charge you to do your duty; to maintain the laws, the 
rights, the constitution of your own country, even at the 
hazard of your lives and fortunes. In my judicial character 
I know no master but the law ; I am a servant, not to the 
king, but to the constitution." 

The testimony of one of the earliest and most distinguished 
martyrs to the cause of liberty is at once illustrative of his 
own patriotism and that of his countrymen. Dr. Warren 
said: — ^"It is the united voice of America to preserve their 
freedom or lose their lives in the defence of it. Their reso- 
lutions are not the effects of inconsiderate rashness, but the 
sound result of sober inquiry and deliberation. I am con- 


vinced that the true spirit of liberty was never so universally 
diffused through all ranks and orders of people in any coun- 
ty on the face of the earth, as it now is through all North 

Georgia was the youngest of the colonies, the most feeble 
and the most exposed ; yet her whigs were aroused and 
active at the very dawn of the Revolution. Under Haber- 
sham and Brown, her volunteers assisted in capturing, at the 
mouth of the Savannah, the schooner of Gov. Wright, con- 
taining the king^s powder; and afterwards Doctor N. W. 
Jones, Joseph Habersham, Edward Telfair, William Gibbon, 
Joseph Clay, John Millege and others broke into the maga- 
zine and secured for their little band of whig patriots, the 
powder intended by the colonial authorities to intimidate the 
rising spirit of republicanism and resistance to the royal 
cause. '^ Some of the bravest and most honourable men in 
the Union were among the patriots of Georgia." **Mr. 
Habersham, alone and unaided, entered the house of Gro- 
vernor Wright and arrested him at his own table."* 

But all these manifestations of a spirit of determined resist- 

Sance on the part of the American colonies, were disre- 
garded by the British government. Parliamentary 
supremacy had been asserted, and coeircive measures were 
adopted to enforce and sustain it. A crisis approached which 
precluded, forever, all reconciliation between England and her 
4 American colonies. On the 19th of April the battle of Lex- 
ington took place, the first act in the great drama of the 
American Revolution. The blood there shed was the signal 
for war. The martial spirit of the American people rose 
with the occasion. The forts, magazines and arsenals through- 
out the colonies, were instantly secured for the use of the Pro- 
vincials. Troops were raised, and provision made for their 
pay and support. Valour in the field was not sufficient for the 
emergency ; it demanded also wisdom in council. A new 
Congress met on the 10th of May, adopted measures of de- 
fence, and unanimously elected one of their number, George 
Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the United 

*I>r. JohDBOD'B RemiiuBcenoes. 



Notwithstanding these proceedings, the views of the colo- 
nists did not yet extend to a separation from Great Britain, or 
to the establishment of independent governments, except in 
the last extremity. This is evinced, not only by the declara- 
tions of Congress, but from those of the colonial assemblies 
and conventions in the course of this year. 

" Bnt the charm of loyalty to the king and allegiance to his govern- 
ment, was broken — the spell was dissolved. The colonists bad armed in 
defence of their riehts, and the transit was easy from resistance to inde- 
pendence and revolution. For ten years they had been complaining and 
remonstrating against the unconstitutional enactments of the mother coun- 
try, in the submissive language of faithful and loyal subjects. Their tone 
was changed, and Mndependency' was by many contemplated, and no 
where earlier than in North-Carolina. In this province, peculation by 
Crown officers, exorbitant taxes and the court law controversy, were pro- 
minent causes of early dissatisfaction to the people, and indeed transcend- 
ed, in their immediate influence upon their personal comforts and rights, 
the abstract question of British allegiance. At a later period, their op- 
positioD to the ministry was embittered, not so much by their personal 
aufierings as by a deep sympathy with the people of Massachusetts, who 
were complimented in all their public meetings, and assured of their rea- 
diness to aid them in any general scheme of protection or resistance. The 
organisation of a Continental Congress had been suggested. That was 
to be eflfected through the agency of Provincial Congresses ; and in North- 
Carolina, as early as April 5, 1774, measures were in progress to con- 
Tenegne for that purpose. And on the 26th of the same month, Wil- 
liam Hooper, in a letter to James Iredell, openly avows the propriety, as 
^ell as the probability, of independence. It distinctly says : * With yon 
I anticipate the important share which the colonies must soon have in re> 
^nlatini^ the political balance. They are striding fast to independence, 
and wil^ ere long, build an empire on the ruins of Britain — will adopt its 
coDstitntion, purged of its impurities ; and from an experience of its de- 
lects, will guard against those evils which have wasted its vigour and 
l>roaght it to an untimely end-' ^ * 

The people of North-Carolina elected delegates to a Pro- -V 
vincial Congress, to meet at Newbem, August 25, 1774. The 
royal governor consulted his council, and with their advice 
iissaed his proclamation condemning the elections that had 
been held as illegal, and warning all officers of the king, civil 
and military, to prevent all such meetings, and especially that 
of certain deputies on the 25th instant. Neither the procla- 
mation, nor the less official menaces of Gov. Martin, could 
prevent the assembling of the deputies ; and on the appointed 

* Jones. 




day a deliberative assembly was organized at Newbem, 
independent of and contrary to the authority of the existing 
government. This assembly or congress, as it was called* 
elected William Hooper, Joseph Hewes and Richard CaswelL 
delegates to the General Congress to be held in September at 
Philadelphia, and invested them with such powers as may 
make any act done by them, '* obligatory in honour upon every 
inhabitant of the province, who is not an alien to his country's 
good and an apostate to the liberties of America." They re* 
cognize George the Third as sovereign of the province ; but^ 
as if to mock this profession of loyalty, they claim the rights 
of Englishmen, without abridgement, and swear to maintaiii 
them to the utmost of their power. One of these rights is de* 
fined to be, that no subject shall be taxed but by his own con- 
sent, or that of his legal representative, and they denounoe, 
in unmeasured terms, every policy that assails that most sar 
cred right.* The instructions to their delegates were in conso- 
nance with their resolutions. They contemplated a restora- 
tion of harmony with Great Britain, but pledged a determined 
resistance to aggression upon their persons or properties, and 
** to all unconstitutional encroachments whatsoever." 

It does not appear that the infant settlements west of 
the mountains were represented at Newbern. While the 
Congress of North-Carolina was in session at that place, her 
Western pioneers were laying the foundation of society, and 
her brave soldiery had volunteered in an expedition, distant, 
toilsome, dangerous, patriotic, against the inroads of a savage 
enemy : thus serving an apprenticeship in self government and 
self defence, which events transpiring on the Atlantic side of 
the mountain soon after rendered necessary and important. 

At this period the colonial government claimed the sole 
right to treat with the Indian tribes and to purchase their 
lands, as one of the prerogatives of sovereignty. This claim 
furnished a new pretext to Governor Martin to vent his 
spleen upon the distant settlers. The purchase which they 
had made at Watauga of the Cherokee lands, was pro- 
nounced illegal ; the governor alleging, in his proclamation 
against it, that it was made in violation of the king^s inhibi- 
tion of Oct. 7, 1763, as well as of an act of the Provincial 

* Jones. 


Assembly. This proclamation of Gov, Martin was a dead 
letter. No regard was paid to it on Watauga. 

A second Provincial Congress was elected. It convened 
i at Newbern, April 8, 1775, the same time and place J- 
( appointed for the meeting of the Provincial Legisla- 
ture* The members elected by the people to one of these 
bodies, were generally the same persons elected to the other. 
** As the Provincial Assembly, with but few exceptions, con- 
sisted of the delegates to the Congress, and as the Speaker 
of the former was also the Moderator of the latter body, their 
{NTOceedings are a little farcical. The Congress would be in 
session, when the Governor's Secretary would arrive, and 
then Mr. Moderator Harvey would turn himself into Mr. 
Speaker Harvey, and proceed to the despatch of public busi- 
ness. The Assembly, too, would occasionally forget its duty, 
and trespass upon the business of the Congress."*' Governor 
Martin had, as on a former occasion, endeavoured in vain, 
by the efficacy of an intemperate and argumentative procla- 
mation, to prevent the meeting of the Congress. That body 
issued a counter-proclamation, by way of reply, in terms 
firm, moderate, forcible, respectfbl, and not less logical. *'0n 
the 8th of April, 1775, the Assembly wets dissolved by pro- 
clamation, and thus ceased forever all legislative action 
in North-Carolina under the royal government." "^ 

The Congress at Newbern approved of what had been 
done by their delegates at Philadelphia, and, in evidence of 
their continued confidence, re-appointed them delegates to 
the second Continental Congress. They also approved the 
Association entered into by that body, and firmly pledged 
themselres to adhere to its provisions, and to recommend its 
adoption to their constituents. 

All this had transpired in North-Carolina before the battle 
at Lexington had been fought. The intelligence of that 
oocnrrence produced the most decisive effect. It not only 
stimalated resistance to arbitrary power, but precipitated a 
sererance from the British government. Meetings were 
iield throughout the province, in which the great whig prin- 
cqiles of the day were asserted, and a cordial sympathy 

* Jones. 


with the distresses of the people of Massachusetts was ex- 
pressed. Hooper had said, "that the colonies were fast 
striding to independence," and Mecklenburg county was the 
first to sustain his declaration. In that county a Convention 
was called, which met on the 19th of May, 1775, at Char- 
lotte. Abraham Alexander was chosen Chairman, and John 
McKnitt Alexander, Secretary. After a free and full dis- 
cussion of the various objects of the meeting, which contin- 
ued in session till 2 o'clock, A. M7, on the 20th, ^ It was 

** I, JReaolved, That whosoever, directly or indirectiy, abetted, or in 
any way, form or manner, countenanced the unchartered and dai^^^erovt 
invasion of our rights as claimed by Great Britain, is an enemy to this 
country, to America, and to the inherent and inalienable rights of man. 

^* n. Besolved, That we, the citizens of Mecklenburg county, do hereby 
dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the mother 
country, and hereby absolve ourselvea from all allegiance to the Britah 
Crown, and abjure all political connection, contract or association, with 
that nation, who have wantonly trampled on our rights and libertieBi 
and inhumanly shed the blood of American patriots at Lexington. 

"' m. Besolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a fr^ and inde- 
pendent people, are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self govenuag 
association, under the control of no power other than that of our Qm 
and the general government of the Congress ; to the maintenance of 
which independence, we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual co- 
operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honour. 

" IV. Resolved^ That as we now acknowledge the existence and con- 
trol of no law or legal officer, civil or military, within this county, we do 
hereby ordain and adopit, as a rule of life, all, each, and every of our 
former laws — wherein, nevertheless, the Crown of Great Britain never 
can be considered as holding rights, privileges, immunities or authority 

Other resolutions were adopted, making provision for the 
new condition of things. A copy of the proceedings of the 
Convention was sent by express to the North-Carolina mem- 
bers of Congress, then in session in Philadelphia. These 
delegates approving of the spirit of their fellow-citizens and 
the elevated tone of the resolutions, thought them, neverthe- 
less, premature, as the Continental Congress had not yet 
abandoned all hopes of reconciliation, upon honourable terms, 
with the mother country. The Declaration of Independence 
was not, therefore, presented to nor acted upon by that 
body. A copy was also addressed to the Provincial Con- 


gress in August, but, for similar reasons, was not particu- 
larly acted upon. 

But the proceedings being published in the ''Cape Fear 
Mercury,*' at Wilmington, and thus meeting the eye of Gro- 
vemor Martin, called forth another proclamation, in which 
he thus notices the Charlotte resolutions : '' And whereas I 
have also seen a most infamous publication, in the 'Cape Fear 
Mercury,' importing; to be Resolves of a set of people styling 
themselves a Committee of the County of Mecklenburg, most 
traitorously declaring the entire dissolution of the laws^ 
government and constitution of the country, and setting up a 
system of rule and regulation repugnant to the laws, and 
subversive of his majesty's government, &c." 

Doctor Brevard is the reputed author of the Mecklenburg 
Resolations. The names of the delegates, and of the master, 
spirits and patriots of the country through whose influence 
and popularity the resolutions were adopted, are Hezekiah 
Alexander, Adam Alexander, Charles Alexander, Ezra Alex- 
ander» Waightstill Avery» Ephraim Brevard, Hezekiah Jones 
B&lcb, Richard Barry, Henry Downs, John Davidson, Wil- 
liam Davidson, John Flenniken, John Ford, William Graham^ 
James Harris, Richard Harris, Senr., Robert Irwin, William 
Kennon, Neill Morrison, Matthew McClure, Samuel Martin, 
Thomas Polk, John Phifer, Ezekiel Polk, Benjamin Patton, 
Duncan Ocheltree, John Queary, David Reese, William Will- 
son, and Zacheus Willson, Senr.* 

At this time hope was entertained of a reconciliation with 
England, and the thought of independence had been con- 
ceived by few. Even Mr. Jefferson, in a letter to Dr. William 
Small, under date of May 7, 1775, said : " When I saw Lord 
Chatham's bill, I entertained high hope that a reconcilia- 
tion could have been brought about. The diflference be- 
tween his terms and those offered by our Congress, might 
have beeu accommodated, &c."t 

A month after the Charlotte Convention, the people of 
Cumberland county entered into an association. They say : 
^ Holding ourselves bound by that most sacred of all obliga- 

• State Pamphlet^ pp. 11 and 16. Raleigh: 1881. 
/f 8m American Arcfairea, toL ii, p. 5S8. 


tions, the duty of good citizens towards an injured oountfy, 
and thoroughly convinced that, under our distressed circaoi- 
stances, we shall be justified in resisting force by force, do 
unite ourselves under every tie of religion and honour, and 
associate as a band in her defence against every foe, hereby 
solemnly engaging, that, whenever our Continental or Pro- 
vincial Councils shall decree it necessary, we will go forth* 
and be ready to sacrifice our lives and our fortunes to secure 
her freedom and safety. This obligation to continue in foroe 
until a reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain 
and America upon constitutional principles — an event we 
most ardently desire." Mecklenburg still stood alone in the 
• bold position she had assumed of absolute independence. 

A similar association was also entered into by the people 
of Tryon county, on the 14th August, but, like the prece- 
ding, was limited by the ''reconciliation to take place upon 
constitutional principles." 

On the 20th of August the Provincial Congress assembled 
at Hillsborough. The royal governor had fled from his pal- 
ace, and taken refuge on board his majesty's ship Cruiser, 
in Cape Fear River, from which he issued his proclamation, 
vainly hoping by these harmless missiles to intimidate the 
patriot freemen of North-Carolina. The Provincial Assem- 
bly had been prorogued— dissolved, rather — no vestige of the 
royal government was left, and a Whig Congress had as- 
sumed the control of North-Carolina. Still professing alle- 
giance to the king, it denied his authority to in;pose taxes ; 
and its members took an oath to support the Whig authori- 
ties of the Continental and Provincial Congress. They de- 
clared, unanimously, that North-Carolina would pay her due 
proportion of the expense of raising a Continental army. 
and appointed a committee to prepare a plan for regulating 
the internal peace, order and safety of the province. ** This 
was the most important committee ever yet appointed by 
popular authority, and it achieved one of the most difficult and 
trying ends of the Revolution. It substituted a regular gov- 
ernment, resting entirely on popular authority, for that of 
the royal government, and annihilated every vestige of the 
power of Josiah Martin. Nothing but the idle and vain 


theory of allegiance to the throne was left to reminc 
people of the recent origin of their power."* 

The Provincial Congress of North-Carolina met again, ^ 
i 4, 1776. The following extract from its Journal, si 
( '* that the first legislative recommendation of a d 
ration of independence by the Continental Congress, i 
nated, likewise, in North-Carolina. It is worthy of rec 
that John McKnitt Alexander, the Secretary of the Chai 
Convention, Thomas Polk, Waightstill Avery, John i 
and Robert Irwin, who were conspicuous actors in the 
ceedings in Mecklenburg, were active and influential i 
hers of this Provincial Congress from that county.f 

^ Bemdvid, That the delegates for this colony in the Contioenti 
gross, be empowered to concur with the delegates of the other cc 
in dedariiig independency and forraing foreign alliances, reserving 1 
colony the sole and exclusive right of forming a constitution and la 
this colony, and of appointing delegates from time to time, (under 1 
lection of a general representation thereof.) to meet the delegates 
other colonies, for such purposes as shall be hereafter pointed out 

**The Congress taking the same into consideration, nnanimouil 
eorred therewith.*' 

This resolution, thus unanimously adopted by the Con 
at Halifax, was presented by the delegates of North-Cai 
to the Continental Congress, May, 27, 1776 — nearly six \ 
before the national declaration of July 4th was made. 

Before the Congress which thus recommended independ 
was debated the project of a civil constitution for North-i 
Una* The idea of a constitution seemed to follow that 
dependence ; and, accordingly, on the thirteenth a comn 
was appointed to prepare a temporary civil form of gc 
ment. The subject, after discussion, was postponed t 

next Congrcss4 

An ordinance was also passed, '' empowering the gov 
to issue a proclamation requiring all persons who ha 
any time, by taking arms against the liberty of Am< 
adhering to, comforting or abetting the enemies there 
by words disrespectful or tending to prejudice the ind 
dence of the United States of America, or of this sti 

* Jones. f Idem. X I<^cm. 




particular, to come in before a certain day therein mentioned^ 
and take an oath of allegiancQ. and make submission, on 
pain of being considered as enemies and treated accordingly.'' 
Also an ordinance ''for supplying the public treasury 
with money for the exigencies of this state, and for the sup- 
port of that part of the continental army stationed therein." 
The form of two of the Treasury Bills is here given. 



These issues of the North-Carolina Treasury for expenses 
incurred by her patriotic militia in the cause of indepen- 
dence, are still found in great abundance in the scrutoires and 
chests of the old families and their descendants in Tennessee : 


valueless now, but still proud remembrancers of past sacri- 
fices and toils. Of this money, it has been well said, it vin- 
dicated our liberties, but fell in the moment of victory. 

The device of the volunteer levelling his rifle and the 
motto chosen for him, are peculiarly appropriate. ''Hit or 
miss'' is a homely but significant phrase, and is expressive 
of the noble sentiment of the patriot Adams, uttered about 
the same period: — ^**Sink or swim, live or die, survive or 

Other ordinances for putting the machinery or the new 
state into successful motion being passed, the Congress of 
Halifax adjourned. 

We have chosen thus to throw together, in a connected view, 
the action and sentiment of the several colonies at the dawn of 
the Revolution, and to give in more detail, and with a less 
rapid recital, the early participation of our mother state^ 
North-Carolina, in the cause of liberty and of freedom, and 
in the Declaration of Independence. It is no ordinary 
achievement thus to have laid the foundation of free and 
independent government. Every review of these illustrious 
events increases our admiration of that enlightened love of 
freedom, that noble spirit of independence, and that self- 
sacrificing and lofty patriotism, which glowed in the bosoms, 
animated the councils and nerved the hearts of those who, 
for the inestimable privileges we enjoy, pledged their mutual 
co-operation, their lives, fortunes and most sacred honour.* 

Returning to the chronological order of events from which 
we have slightly departed, we find the small community on 
Watauga still living under the simple government of their 
own appointment, consisting of five commissioners elected 
by themselves. Before this tribunal all private controver- 
sies were settled. Its sessions were held at stated and regu- 
lar periods, and as its business increased with the constant 
enlargement of the settlement, a clerk was found necessary. 
Felix Walker, Thomas Gomley, William Tatham and John 

* See State Pamphlet^ published by North-Carolina, page 6 : Pitkin, Force's 
CoUectione ; State Papers ; Jones, Foote, Wheeler and Martin's North-Caroliiui ; 
hftTe all been referred to and consulted. 


184 PETinoir pbom wabhingtom dIbtriot^ 

Sevier, all served in that office ;• Lewis Bowyer was the 
attorney. A sheriflf was also appointed, but who he was is 

'^(^not now known. The laws of Virginia were taken as the 
standard of decision. Of this court, of its decisions and pro- 
ceedings, little or nothing is certainly known. The records 
afe, probably, all lost. No research of the writer has been 
successful in discovering them ; he has examined in vain the 
several offices in Tenneseee, and also the state archives at 
Richmond and Raleigh. At the latter place, by the courtesy 
of Gov. Reed, the present Executive of North-Carolina, he 
was allowed free access to the public papers of that state. 
No trace of the records of Watauga Court was to be found ; 
but his pains-taking search was richly compensated by the 
discovery, in an old bundle of papers, lying in an upper 
shelf, almost out of reach, and probably not seen before for 
seventy-five yeai-s, of a petition and remonstrance from Wa- 
tauga settlement, praying, among other things, to be an* 

^ nexedf whether as a county, district or other division, to 
N orth-Car olina. The document appears to be in the han^- 
^^Titingof one of the signers, John Sevier, and is probably 
Us own production. The name of the chairman, John 
Carter, is written by a palsied hand. It is remarkable that 
about sixty years afterwards, his grandson, the late Hon. W. 
B. Carter, from exactly the same Watauga locality, was 
president of the convention that formed the present consti- 
tution of Tennessee. The others are all names since, and 
at the present time, familiar to Tennesseans. 

This document is, throughout, replete with interest ; is full 
of our earliest history ; breathes the warmest patriotism, and 
is inspired with the spirit of justice and of liberty. No 
apology is needed for presenting it entire in these pages rf 

** To the Hon. the Provincial Council of North-Carolina : 

"The humble petition of the inhabitants of Washington 
District, including the River Wataugah, Nonachuckie, Slc., 

* Mr. Walker was a member of CoDgrefls from the Bmicombe District, N. C, 
in 1821. 
f The petitioD is copied literatim et yerbatim. 


in oommittee assembled, Humbly Sheweth, that about six 
years ago, Col. Donelson, (in behalf of the Colony of Virginia,) 
held a Treaty with the Cherokee Indians, in order to pur- 
chase the lands of the Western Frontiers; in consequence of 
which Treaty, many of your petitioners settled on the lands 
of the Wataugah, &c., expecting to be within the Virginia 
line, and consequently hold their lands by their improvements 
as first settlers ; but to their great distippointment, when the 
lin^ was run they were (contrary to their expectation) left 
out ; finding themselves thus disappointed, and being too in- 
conveniently situated to remove back, and feeling an un- 
willingness to loose the labour bestowed on their planta- 
tions, they applied to the Cherokee Indians, and leased the 
land for the term of ten years, before the expiration of which 
term, it appeared that many persons of distinction were ac- 
taally mining purchases forever ; thus yielding a precedent, 
(supposing many of them, who were gentlemen of the law, 
to be better judges of the constitution than we were,) and 
considering the bad consequences it must be attended with^ 
should the reversion be purchased out of our hands, we next 
proceeded to make a purchase of the lands, reserving 
those in our possession in sufficient tracts for our own 
use, and resolving to dispose of the remainder for the good 
of the community. This purchase was made and the lands 
acknowledged to us and our heirs forever, in an open treaty, 
in Wataugah Old Fields ; a deed being obtained from the 
chiefs of the said Cherokee nation, for themselves and their 
whole nation, conveying a fee simple right to the said lands, 
to us and our heirs forever, which deed was for and in con- 
sideration of the sum of two thousand pounds sterling, (paid 
to them in goods,) for which consideration they acknowledged 
themselves fully satisfied, contented and paid ; and agreed, 
for themselves, their whole nation, their heirs, &c., forever 
to resign, warrant and defend the said lands to us, and 
our heirs, &c., against themselves, their heirs, &c. 

** The purchase was no sooner made, than we were alarmed 
by the reports of the present unhappy differences between 
Ghreat Britain and America, on which report, (taking the 
now united colonies for our guide,) we proceeded to choose 


a committee, which was done unanimously by consent of 
the people. This committee (willing to become a party in the 
present unhappy contest) resolved, (which is now on our 
records,) to adhere strictly to the rules and orders of the 
Continental Congress, and in open committee acknowledged 
themselves indebted to the united colonies their full pro- 
portion of the Continental expense. 

^' Finding ourselves on the Frontiers, and being apprehen- 
sive that, for the want of a proper legislature, we might be- 
come a shelter for such as endeavoured to defraud their 
creditors ; considering also the necessity of recording Deeds, 
Wills, and doing other public business ; we, by consent of 
the people, formed a court for the purposes above mentioned, 
taking (by desire of our constituents) the Virginia laws for 
our guide, so near as the situation of affairs would admit ; 
this was intended for ourselves, and was done by the consent 
of every individual ; but wherever we had to deal with peo- 
ple out of our district, we have ruled them to bail, to abide 
by our determinations, (which was, in fact, leaving the mat- 
ter to reference,) otherways we dismissed their suit, lest we 
should in any way intrude on the legislature of the colonies. 
In short, we have endeavoured so strictly to do justice, that 
we have admitted common proof against ourselves, on ac- 
counts, &c., from the colonies, without pretending a right to 
require the Colony Seal. 

** We therefore trust we shall be considered as we deserve, 
and not as we have^no doubt) been many times represented, 
as a lawless mob. It is for this very reason we can assure yoa 
that we petition ; we now again repeat it, that it is for want 
of proper authority to try and punish felons, we can only 
mention to you murderers, horse-thieves and robbers, and 
are sorry to say that some of them have escaped us for want 
of proper authority. We trust, however, this will not 
long be the case ; and we again and again repeat it, that it 
is for this reason we petition to this Honourable Assembly. 

** Above we have given you an extract of our proceedings, 
since our settling on Wataugah, Nonachuckie, &c., in regard 
to our civil affairs. We have shown you the causes of our first 
settling and the disappointments we have met with, the rea- 


son of our lease and of our purchase, the manner in which 
we purchased, and how we hold of the Indians in fee Ample ; 
the causes of our forming a committee, and the legality of its 
election ; the same of our Court and proceedings, and our 
reasons for petitioning in regard to our legislature. 

** We will now proceed to give you some account of our 
military establishments, which were chosen agreeable to the 
rules established by convention, and officers appointed by the 
conunittee. This being done, we thought it proper to raise a 
company on the District service, as our proportion, to act in the 
common cause on the sea shore. A company of fine riflemen 
were accordingly enlisted, and put under Capt. James Robert- 
son, and were actually embodied, when we received sundry 
letters and depositions, (copies of which we now enclose 
yoOy) you will then readily judge that there was occasion for 
them in another place, where we daily expected an attack. 
We therefore thought proper to station them on our Frontiers, 
in defence of the common cause, at the expense and risque of 
our own private fortunes, till farther public orders, which we 
flatter ourselves will give no offence. We have enclosed you 
snndry proceedings at the station where our men now re- 

^ We shall now submit the whole to your candid and impar- 
tial judgment. We pray your mature aud deliberate con- 
sideration in our behalf, that you may annex us to your 
Province, (whether as county, district, or other division,) in 
such manner as may enable us to share in the glorious cause 
of Liberty ; enforce our laws under authority, and in every 

respect become the best m^jgllfiHiiiit^^^^^^^y ' ^^^ ^^i* ^^^' 
selves and constituents we hope, we may venture to assure 
yoU) that we shall adhere strictly to your determinations, 
and that nothing will be lacking or any thing neglected, that 
may add weight (in the civil or military establishments) to 
the glorious cause in which we are now struggling, or 
contribute to the welfare of our own or ages yet to come. 

*• That you may strictly examine every part of this our Peti- 
tion, and delay no time in annexing us to your Province, in 
such a manner as your wisdom shall direct, is the hearty 



prayer of those who, for themselves and constituents^ as in 
doty bound, shall ever pray. 

John Carter, Chn. Jolin Sevier, John Jones, 

Charles Roberdson, Jas. Smith, (George Rusel, 

James Robertson, Jacob BrowD, Jacob Womack, 

Zach. Isbell, Wm. Been, Robert Lucas. 

The above signers are the Members in Committee assembled. 

Wm. Tatham, Clerk, P. T. 
Jacob Womack, John Brown, 

Joseph Dunham, Jos. BrowD, 

Rice Durroon, Job Bumper, 

Edward Hopson, Isaac Wilson, 

Lew. Bowyer, D. Atty, Richard Norton, 

Joseph Buller, 
Andw. Greer, 

Joab X Mitchell, 

Gideon Morris, 
Shadrack Morris, 
William Crocket, 
Thos. Dedmon, 
David Hickey, 
Mark Mitchell, 
Hugh Blair, v, 
Elias Pebeer, 
Jos. Brown, 
John Neave, 
John Robinson, 

George Hutson, 
Thomas Simpson, 
Valentine Sevier, 
Jonathan Tipton, 
Robert Sevier, 
Drury Goodan, 
Richard Fletcher, 
Ellexander Greear, 
Jos. Greear, 
Andrew Greear, jun., 
Teeler Nave, 
Lewis Jones, 
John L Cox, 
John Cox, jr., 
Abraham Cox, 
Emanuel Shote, 

Christopher Cunning- Tho. Houghton, 

Jas. Easeley, 
Ambrose Hodge, 
Dan'l Morris, 
Wm. Cox, 
James Easley, 
John Haile, 
Elijah Robertson, 
William Clark, 

John H Dunham, 

Wm. Overall, 

Jos. Luske, 
Wm. Reeves, 
David Hughes, 
Landon Carter, 
John McCormick, 
DMid Crocket, 

Tho's Hughes, 
William Roberson, 
Henry Siler, 
Frederick Calvit, 
John Moore, 
William Newberry, 

Adam Sherrell, 
Samuel Sherrell, jnnr. 
Samuel SherreU, aenr. 
Henry Bates, Jan., 
Jos. Grimes, 
Christopher Cuniung- 

ham, sen., 
Joshua Barten, sen^ 
Joud. Bostin, sen., 
Henry Bates, jun., 
Wiirm Dod, 
Gh'oves Morris, 
Wm. Bates, 
Rob't Mosely, 
Ge. Hartt, 
Isaac Wilson, 
Jno. Waddell, 
Jarret Williams, 
Oldham Hightower, 
Abednago Hix, 
Charles McCartney, 
Frederick Vaughn, 
Jos. McCartney, 
Mark ^Robertson, 
Joseph Calvit, 
Joshua Houghton, 
John Chukinbeard, 
James Cooper, 
William Brokees, 
Julius Robertson, 
John King, 
Michael Hider, 
John Davis, 
John Barley." 

Matt Hawkins, 

This document is without date. The original, now in the 
state archives at Raleigh, has endorsed upon it, '' Received 
August 22, 1 776." It had been probably drawn up in the 
early part of that year. Nothing has been found after the 


most carefal examination, to show what action was taken 
by the Provincial Council in reference to the petition. It is 
probable, however, that in the exercise of its now omnipotent 
and unrestricted authority, the Council advised the settlers to 
send forward their representatives to the Provincial Congress 
at Halifax, as it is known they did as delegates from ^ Wash- 
ington District, Watauga Settlement." The name Washing- 
ton District, being in the petition ftself, must have been 
assumed by the people petitioning, and was probably sug- 
gested by John Sevier, who, during his residence at Wil- 
liamsburg, had doubtless known Cf>l. George Washington, 
now the commander-in-chief of the American army. It is 
not known to this writer that the authorities or people of 
any other province had previously honoured Washington by 
giving his name to one of its towns or districts — a district, 
too^ of such magnificent dimensions, extending from the Al- 
leghany Mountains to the Mississippi. A most suitable 
tribute of respect to the exalted character and enlarged pa- 
triotism of the Father of his Country ! The pioneers of 
Tennessee were, probably, the first thus to honour Wash- 

The District of Washington being, as is probable, in accord- 
ance with the prayer of the petitioners, " annexed" to North- 
Carolina, was thus authorized to send its representatives to 
the Provincial Congress at Halifax. That body assembled 
at that place Nov. 12, 1776, and continued in session till the 
18th of December. A Bill of Rights and a State Constitution 
were adopted. 

In the last section of the Declaration of Rights, the limits 
of the state, on the west, are made to extend '' so far as is 
mentioned in the charter of King Charles the Second, to the 
late Proprietors of Carolina ;" and the hunting grounds are 
secured to the Indians as far as any former legislature had 
secured,, or any future legislature might secure to them. 

Amongst the members of this Congress were Charles Ro- 
bertson, John Carter, John Haile and John Sevier, from **Wash- 
ington District, Watauga Settlement."* Her remote and pa- 
triotic citizens, on the extreme frontier, thus participated in 

* Womack was also elected, bat did not attend. 


laying the foundation of government for the free, sovereign 
and independent State of North-Carolina. In that part of the 
Declaration of Rights adopted by the Congress, specifying 
the limits of the state, is the proviso, '' thai it shall not be so 
construed as to prevent the establishment of one or more govern^ 
ments westward of this state^ by consent of the legislature.^ This 
was inserted, probably, at the suggestion of the young legisla- 
tors from Watauga. Iv their nurfiber — the last in the list as 
here given — was the futureGovernor of Franklin and of Ten- 
nessee. His fortune, as will be shown in the further pro- 
gress of these annals, was hereafter hewn out by his sword 
and shaped by his wonderful capacities. Could he have been, 
at this time, preparing a theatre for their future employment 
and exhibition ? 


The topography of Watauga has become interesting, and 
the modern visitant to that early home of the pioneers of Ten- 
nessee and the West, lingers around and examines, with in- 
tense curiosity and almost with veneration, the places conse- 
crated as their residence or their entombment. The annalist, 
partaking deeply in this feeling, has used every effort to identify 
these localities. He has made more than one pilgrimage to 
these time-honoured and historic places. In all time to come 
they will be pointed out and recognized as the abode and rest- 
ing place of enterprise, virtue, hardihood, patriotism — the an- 
cestral monument of real worth and genuine greatness. 

** Watauga Old Fields," already mentioned, occupied the 
site of the present Elizabethton, in Carter county. Tradition 
says it was once an ancient Indian village, of which, when 
Mr. Andrew Greer, an early hunter and explorer, first set- 
tled it, no trace remained but the cleared land. In confirma- 
tion of that tradition it may be remarked, that a short distance 
above that place, on the south side of Watauga River and im- 
mediately upon its bank, an ancient cemetery is seen, in which 
are deposited quite a number of human skeletons. 

"The Watauga Fort" was erected upon the land once owned 
and occupied by an old settler, Matthew Tolbot. The land 
is now owned by Mrs. Eva Gillespie. The fort stood upon 



a knoll below the present site of Mrs. Gillespie's house, in a 
bottom, about half a mile north-east of the mouth of Gap 
Creek. The spot is easily identified by a few graves and the 
large locust tree standing conspicuously on the right of the 
road leading to EHzabethton. Let it ever be a sacrilege to 
cut down that old locust tree — growing, as it does, pear the 
ruins of the Watauga fort which sheltered the pioneer and 
protected his family — where the soldiery of Watauga fought 
under Captain Robertson and Lieutenant Sevier, and where 
the Courts of the Association were held, and even-handed jus- 
tice was administered under the self-constituted legislature, 
judiciary and executive of the Watauga settlers. 

Besides the fort proper, there were near, and within reach 
of its guns, a court-house and jaif These were, necessarily, 
of the plainest structure, being made of round poles. In 1782 
the former was converted into a stable. 

Higher up the river, and on the north side of it, near the 
closing in of a ridge, upon a low flat piece of land, stood / 

another fort. The land was then owned by Valentine Se- 
vier, Sen., now by Mr. Hart. On Doe River was a third fort, 
in the cove of that stream. The Parkinsons forted here. 
The farm is now owned by Mr. Hampton. Carter Wo 
mack had a fort near the head of Watauga ; its exact loca- 
tion is not now known. During an outbreak of the Indians, 
men were sent from this fort to protect settlements lower 
down the country. Another fort stood near the mouth of 
Sinking Creek, on land now owned by Bashere, then by 


James Robertson lived on the north side of the river, at 
the upper end of the island, on lands since the property of 
A. M. Carter, Esq., deceased, late of EHzabethton. Valen- 
tine Sevier, Jun., at one time lived where Mr. Hickey now 
resides, opposite N. G. Taylor's store. Valentine Sevier, 
Sen., owned the land now occupied by Mr. Hart. Colonel 
John Carter's residence was about half a mile north of EHz- 
abethton, on the property still owned by his grandson, Gene- 
ral James J. Carter. The house of Mr. Andrew Greer was 


on Watauga River, abont three miles above Elizabethtpn, 
near to the place where Henry Nave, Jan., now lives. Mr. 
Gretr was an Indian trader, and at a very early period, per- 
haps 1766, came with Julius C. Dugger to the West. They 
are believed to be the first white men that settled south of 
what was afterwards ascertained to be the Virginia line. 
After them came the Robertsons, John Carter, Michael Hy- 
der, the Seviers, Dunjains, McNabbs, Matthew Tolbot, the 
Hortons, McLinns, and Simeon Bundy. The latter of these 
was the first settler on Gap Creek His house stood near the 
Big Spring, the head of that stream. Soon after the arrival 
on the Watauga of the emigrants above named, came the 
Beans, the Cobbs and the Webbs, and, subsequently, the Tip* 
tons and Taylors. Julius C. Dugger lived and died at a 
place still owned by his heirs, and known as Dugger's Bridge^ 
fourteen miles up the Watauga from Elizabethton. Mr. 
Horton lived at the Green Hill, a little south of the Watauga 
Springs. Joshua, his son, owned the present residence of 
Samuel Tipton, and another son, Richard, lived at the place 
now occupied by Mr. Renfro. Charles Robertson lived on 
Sinking Creek, on the property now owned by John Ellis* 
Ambrose Hodge lived where Wm. Wheeler now resides, on 
the road leading to Jonesboro, from Elizabethton. Mr. Ho- 
neycut, whose hospitality furnished the first home to James 
Robertson, lived about Roane's Creek, near the Watauga. 
Evan Shelby lived and died at the place now known as 
King's Meadows, in Sullivan county, near the Virginia line» 
where his grave is still pointed out. Michael Hyder lived 
on Powder Branch, a mile south of Watauga. His son has 
built his present residence near the site of the old mansion. 
James Edens settled near the Big Springs on Gap Creek, the 
place now occupied by his son. 

The first mill erected in all the country, was on BufiTalo 
Creek. It belonged to Baptist McNabb, and stood near 
where David Pugh since lived. About the same time, an- 
other mill r was built by Matthew Tolbot on Gap Creek. 
The property is now owned by the heirs of Love.* 

* To one of whom, Mr. John Love, recently deceased at Charleston, S. C, the 
writer ia indebted for many of thef»e details. 


In August, 1775, Rev. William Tennent informed the Pro- 
vincial Congress of South-Carolina, that Cameron was among 
the Over-hiU Cherokees, aud would soon join the disaffected 
with three thousand Cherokee gun-men, who will fight for the 
king. An Indian talk waa intercepted, which contained an 
assurance from the Cherokees that they were ready to attend 
Cameron^and massacre all the back settlers of Carolina and 
Greorgia, without distinction of age or sex. 

In a letter to Lord Dartmouth, under date, Boston, June 12, 
1775y Gen. Gage said : " We need not be tender of calling on 
the savages" * to attack the Americans. 

In this year an Indian trader, Andrew Greer, one of the first, 

1T76 \ ^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ settlor of Watauga, being in the 
( Cherokee towns, suspected, from the conduct of Walker 
and another trader, that some mischief was intended against 
him. He returned with his furs, but left the main trading 
path and came up the Nollichucky Trace. Boyd and Dogget, 
who had been sent out by Virginia, travelling on the path 
that Greer left, were met by Indians near a creek, were killed 
by them and their bodies thrown into the water. The creek 
is in Sevier county, and has ever since been known as Boyd's 
Creek. A watch and other articles were afterwards found 
in the creek — the watch had Boyd's name engraved on the 
case. He was a Scotchman. This was the commencement 
of the Cherokee hostility^ and was believed to be instigated 
by the agents of the British government. One of its mea- 
sures adopted to oppress and subjugate the disaffected Ameri- 
can colonies, was to arm the neighbouring tribes and to sti- 
mulate them against the feeble settlements on their border. 
The southern colonies had expressed a decided sympathy with 
their aggrieved brethren in Massachusetts, and lying adjacent 
to the warlike Cherokee tribe, it was desired to secure the 
alliance of these savages against them in the existing war. 
£arly in the year 1776, John Stuart, the Superintendent of 
Southern Indian Affairs, received his instructions from the 
British War Department, and immediately dispatched to his 
deputies, resident among the different tribes, orders to carry 
into effect the wishes of his government Alexander Came- 

•Am. Archives^ yol. il, folio 968. 



ron, a Highland officer, who had fought for America in the 
French war, was at this time the Agent for the Cherokee 
nation. Receiving from Stuart his orders, he lost no time in 
convoking the chiefs and warriors, and making known to 
them the designs of his government. He informed them of 
the difEculties between the King and his American subjects, 
and endeavoured to enlist them in favour of his monarch. 

The Indians could scarcely believe that the war was real — 
a war among savages that speak the same language being 
unknown. This phenomenon confused them. The Ameri- 
cans, moreover, had friends in the towns, who endeavoured 
to counteract the intrigues of the Agent, and to gain time to 
apprise the frontier inhabitants of the danger which threat- 
ened them. But by promises of presents in clothing, the plun- 
der of the conquered settlements, and the appropriation to 
their use of the hunting grounds to be reclaimed from the 
whites upon the western waters, Cameron succeeded, event- 
ually, in gaining to the British interests a majority of the head 
men and warriors. '* This formidable invasion was rendered 
much less destructive than was intended, by the address and 
humanity of another Pocahontas. Nancy Ward, who was 
nearly allied to some of the principal chiefs, obtained know- 
ledge of their plan of attack, and without delay communicated 
it to Isaac Thomas, a trader, her friend and a true American. 
She procured for him the means to set out to the inhabitants 
of Holston as an express, to warn them of their danger, which 
he opportunely did, and proceeded, without delay, to the Com- 
mittee of Safety in Virginia, accompanied by William Fallin, 
as far as the Holston settlements'* 

The westernmost settlement, late in the fall of this year, 
was in Carter's Valley. Mr. Kincaid, Mr. Long, Mr. Love and 
Mr. Mulkey, a Baptist preacher, were the pioneers. Their 
bread-corn was brought from the neighbourhood where Abing- 
don now stands. During that winter they hunted and killed buf- 
falo, twelve or fifteen miles north-west of their settlement. They 
also cleared a few acres of land, but after they had planted 
and worked their corn over once, the rumours of a Cherokee 
invasion forced them to leave their little farms. In great 

* Haywood. 


haste and confusion all the families below the north fork of 
Holston recrossed that stream, and the women and children 
were conducted back as far as the present Wythe county. 

The tide of emigration had, in the meantime, brought large 
accessions to the three points, Carter's, Wj^tauga and Brown's, 
and radiating from these centres, the settlers were erecting 
their cabins and opening their " improvements " at some dis- 
tance from each, and approximating the boundaries of the 
parent germ, the whole began to assume the appearance of 
<MiB compact settlement. The policy pursued in Virginia 
and the Carolinas, under the direction of County Associa- 
tiims and Committees of Safety, had driven many to the new 
aeltlements. A test oath was .required of all suspected of 
dtflaffection to the American cause. To avoid the oath, and 
to eeeape the consequences of a refusal to take it or to sub- 
■eribe Uie test, many tories had fled to the extreme frontier. 
Brown's was the fhrthest point and the most difficult of 
aecess. In this seclusion they hoped to remain concealed: 
bttt whig vigilance soon ferreted them out, and a body of men, 
al the instance of John Carter, came from Virginia, went to 
Brown's, called the inhabitants together and administered to 
fliem an oath to be faithful to the common cause. After 
this^ Brovm's and Watauga were considered one united set- 
tlement, and appointed their officers as belonging to the same 

The marder of Boyd by the Indians, and a rumour of the 
intrigoes practiced by Cameron, had put the frontier people 
iqKMa their guard against meditated mischief. The Chero- 
kees had so long maintained friendly relations with them, 
that they had been lulled into a state of false security- 
While they had provided civil institutions adequate to the 
wants of the settlers, the military organization had been 
neglected. They proceeded at once to adopt defensive mea- 
sures, and immediately appointed Carter and Brown colonels, 
and Womack major over their respective militia. It 
was deemed advisable, also, to take further precautions for 
the protection of the settlements against any attack that 
might be contemplated by the savages, and the more exposed 
fanpili^Mi went at once into forts and stations. 


A fort, in these rude military times, consisted of pieces of 
timber, sharpened at the end and firmly lodged in the ground ; 
rows of these pickets enclosed the desired space, which 
embraced the cabins of the inhabitants. One block house, 
or more, of superior care and strength, commanding Ihe 
sides of the fort, with or without a ditch, completed the forti- 
fication or station, as they are most commonly called. Gene- 
rally the sjides of the interior cabins forn^d the sides of tbs 
fort Slight as was this advance in the art of war, it was 
more than sufficient against attacks of small armsi in the 
hands of such desultory warriors, as their irpegcilar supplies 
of provisions necessarily rendered the Indians.* The place 
selected for a station was generally the cabin most centnd' 
to the whole settlement to be iM*otected by it. Often, how* 
ever, it was otherwise ; an elevated position, not surrounded 
by woods, clifis or other fastnesses, from which' assailanlt 
could deliver their fire under cover; contiguity to a spring; 
a river, or other stream of water, a supply of fuel ; — all these 
had their influence in deciding the place selected for a ibrt 
Sometimes the proximity of a number of adjacent settlers^ 
cultivating the same plantation, or working in the same 
clearing y overbalanced other considerations. A grist mill 
was often- a sine qua non in the selection of a site, and espe- 
cially if, in case of a protracted siege, it could be enclosed 
by the palisades or commanded by the rifles of a fort. 

The boundaries of Brown's settlement, on the west, ex- 
tended down Nollichucky, below the mouth of Big Limestdne 
Creek, and that neighbourhood being the weakest and first 
exposed, a fort was built at Gillespie's, near the river, and a 
garrison was stationed in it. Another one was built at 
X. Watauga — another at Heaton's, known as Heaton's Station. 
It stood in the fork between the north and south branches of 
Holston, and about six miles from their confluence. Evan 
Shelby erected one on Beaver Creek,, two miles south of the 
Virginia line. There was one, also, at Womack's, and 
three or four miles east of it, on Holston, John Shelby also 
built a station. In Carter's Valley there were several.f 

• Butler, 
t It is to be regretted that tlie titoof many of llie ferti Mid ataitMms ia Te m eaiee 

stuart'b urrTEB to the fbomtibr people. 1^ 

During these preparations for defence, other information 
reached the Watauga Committee, confirming the previoos 
intelligence of approaching invasion. On the 18th of May 
they received a copy of a letter addressed by Mr. Stuart» 
under date May 9th, to the frontier people. The circum- 
stances attending its delivery were exceedingly suspicious^ 
and gave rise to the gravest apprehensions. The lettar and 
the affidavit of Nathan Read« who was present at Mr. 
Charles Robertson's house at night, when it was delivered, 
are here given : 

** Wattaoa. — ^This day Nathan Read came before me, one of the Jufr- 
liceft of Wattaga, and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty 
God, thai a stranger came up to Charles Robcrtson^s gate yesterday eve- 
ning — who he was he did not know — and delivered a letttr of which 
this Is a true copy. Sworn before me the 19th of May, 1776. 

John Carter. 
Attest — James Smith." 

" Obntlembk — Some time ago Mr. Cameron and myself wrote you a 
letter by Mr. Thomas, and enclosed a talk we had with the Indiana 
respecting the purchase which is reported you lately made of them on 
the levers Wattaga, Nollichuckoy, &c. AVe are sincein formed that you 
are under great apprehensions of the Indians doing mischief immediately. 
But it Is not the desire of his Majesty to set his friends and allies, the 
Indiana, on his liege subjects : Therefore, whoever you are that are will- 
ing to join his Majesty's forces as soon as they arrive at the Cherokee 
Nation, by repairing to the King's standard, shall find protection for 
themselves and their families, and bo free from all danger whatever ; 
yet, that his Majesty's officers may bo certain which of you are willing 
to take np arms in his Majesty's jusl right, I have thought iit to recom* 
mend it to you and every one that is desirous of preventing inevitable 
min to themselves and flirailies, immediately to subscribe a written paper 
acknowledging their allegiance to his Majesty, King George, and that 
tbey are ready and willing, whenever they are called on, to appear in 
arms in defence of the British right in America ; which paper, as soon 

it is signed and sent to me, by safe hand, should any of the inhabitants 

can no longer be satisfactorily identified. Convinced as he was of the value and 
interest these sites would have given to tlii^i work, the writer has endeavoured, in 
various ways, to aaccrtain them, with the view of perpetuating them in a dia£:ram 
or map, to be iosertcd in this volume. These endeavours have been fruitless. From 
BOOfi correspondents, iu a few countie-*, ho has procured eomo information on the 
•abject From others he learus that the early settlers arc no longer there to 
impart the desired knowledge, and from others no reply has been received to hit 
inqiiinN. Public attmtion in Tennessee is respectfully invited to this sobjoct 

148 williamb'b DiBPLoecTftn 

be desiroua of knowing how they are to be free from every kind of intuit 
and dan^r, inform them, that his Majesty will immediately land an army 
in West Florida, march them through the Creek to the Chickasaw Nation, 
where five hundred warriors from each nation are to join them, and then 
come by Chota, who have promised their assistance, and then to take 
possession of the frontiers of North-Carolina and Virginia, at the same 
time that his Majesty's forces make a diversion on the sea coast of those 
Provinces. If any of the inhabitants have any beef, cattle, flour, pork 
or horses to spare, they shall have a good price for them by applying to 
U8, as soon as his Majesty's troops are embodied. 

I am yours, d^c, 

Henrt Stuart." 

Henry was the brother of John Stuart, and Deputy Superin- 
tendent oflndian Affairs, and in that capacity had been sent to 
the Cherokees by Cameron. The letter was doubtless handed 
by some incognito loyalist from South-Carolina, at the sug- 
gestion of Col. Kirkland, to whom such negotiations were 
familiar. Charles Robertson had emigrated from that Pro- 
vince, and it may have been, was known to some of the dis- 
aiSected back-settlers there. They mistook their man. They 
knew the spirit neither of Robertson nor his countrymen. None 
could have been more prompt nor more vigorous in spurning 
the bribe and disregarding their threats or resisting the exe- 
cution of their plans. 

Mr. Jarret Williams, on his way to Virginia from the Che- 
rokee villages, came to Watauga and communicated addi- 
tional confirmation of the hostile intention of the Indians. It 
will be found in the subjoined affidavit, afterwards published 
in the "Philadelphia Packet" of Aug. 13, 1776. 

" FiNCASTLK, 88. — The deposition of Jarret Williams, taken before me, 
Anthony Bledsoe, a Justice of the Peace for the county aforesaid, being 
first sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith : 
That he left the Cherokee Nation on Monday nighty the 8th iust. (July) ; 
that the part of the Nation called the Over-hills, wore then preparing to 
go to war against the frontiers of Virginia, having purchased to the arbount 
of 1000 skins, or thereabouts, for mockasons. They were also beating 
flour for a march, and making other warlike preparations. Their num- 
ber, from calculation made by the Raven Warrior, amounts to about six 
hundred warriors; and, according to the deponent's idea, he thinks we 
may expect a general attack every hour. They propose to take away 
negroes, horses, and to kill all kinds of cattle, sheep, &c., for which 
purpose they are well stocked with bows and arrows ; also, to destroy 
all com, bum houses, Ac, And he also heard, that the Valley towns were, 
a part of them, set off; but that they had sent a runner to stop them 


(31 all weie ready to start. He further relates, that Alexander Cameron 
informed them that he had concluded to send Captain Nathaniel Gueeti 
William FauHn, Isaac Williams and the deponent, with the Indians, till 
they dime near to Nonachucky ; then the Indians were to stop, and Guest 
and the -other whites, above mentioned, were to go to see if there wer« 
any King's men among the inhabitants ; and if they found any, they 
were to take them off to the Indians, or have a white signal in their handa, 
or otherwise to distinguish them. When this was done, they were to 
Ul on the inhabitants, and kill and drive all they possibly could. That 
OD Saturday, the 6th instant, in the night, he heard two prisoners were 
brought in about midnight, but the deponent saw only one. That the 
within Williams saw only one scalp brought by a party of Indians, with 
a prisoner ; but, from accounts, they had five scalps. Ho also says he 
beiard the prisoner examined by Cameron, though he gave a very imper- 
fect account, being very much cast down. He further says, that the 
Cherokees had received the war-belt from the Shawnese, Mingo, Taa- 
wah and Delaware Nations, to strike the white people. That fifteen of 
the s«d nations were in the Cherokee towns, and that few of the Chero- 
kees went in company with the Shawnese, &c. That they all intended 
to strike the settlers in Kentucky ; and that the Cherokees gave the said 
Shawnese, &c^ four scalps of white men, which they carried away with 
them. The said Shawnese and Mingoes informed the Cherokees that 
they then were at peace with every other nation ; that the French were 
to BUpply them with ammnnition, and that they wanted the Cherokeea 
to join them to strike the white people on the frontiers, which the Chero- 
kees hj|ve agreed to. And the deponent further saith, that before he left 
the nation, a number of the Cherokees of the Lower towns, were gone 
to fall on tiie frontiers of South-Carolina and Georgia ; and further saith 

' Jarret Williams. 
Signed before Anthony BledsoeP 

The apprehension of danger excited amongst the remote 
settlers on Holston, was increased by the report some time 
after of another trader, Robert Dews. The amount of his 
statement made on oath was, '' that the Indians are deter- 
mined on war. The Cherokees have received a letter from 
Cameron, that the Creeks, Chickasaws and Choctaws are 
to join against Georgia, South-Carolina, North-Carolina and 
Virginia ; also that Captain Stuart bad gone up the Missis- 
sippi with goods, ammunition, &c., for the northern nations, 
to cause them to fall on the people of the frontier." 

Nothing could have so aroused, and exasperated, and har- 
monized public sentiment in Watauga, as the intelligeuise 
thus given, that these settlements were to be sacrificed to 
savage barbarity, incited by British influence. No wher« 


more thaii among a frontier people, is there a- keener sense 

of justice or a warmer homage for kind treatment and right^ 

fol authority. No where, a greater abhorrence of a flagrant 

injustice or a deeper resentment for wanton wrong and ofu- 

elty. Every settler at once became a determined whig. On 

the great question then agitating the British Colonies, there 

was but one opinion in the West. The soldiery was armed, 

organized and prepared for the conflict, which Cameron'^ 

^sclosures demonstrated was at hand. 

John Sevier communicated to the officers of Fincastle 

county, the following : 

"Fort Leb, July 11, 1'TYe. 
^Dear Gentlemen : Isaac Thomas, Wm. Falling, Jarot Williams and 
one more, have this moment come in by making their escape from the 
Indians, and say six hundred Indians and whites were to start for tbia 
ibrt^ and intend to drive the country up to New River before they re- 
turn. John Seyixb.?' 

Fort Lee is believed to be the name of the fort at Wa- 
tauga. Sevier was at the latter place at the Attack upon i^ 
July 21, and probably was there at the date of this laconic 
epistle.* Thus forewarned, the Watauga Committee lost no 
time in preparing for the approaching invasion. The forts 
were strengthened, and every measure adopted that could add 
to the security of their people. Having done everything that 
could be effected by their own resources, on the 30th May, 
the Committee sent an express to Virginia for aid and sup- 
plies of lead and powder. To their application Mr. Preston 
replies, under date June 3rd, 1776. 

" Gentlemen : Your letter of the 30th ult. with the deposition of Mr. 
Bryan, came to hand this evening, by your messenger. The news is 
re^ly alarming, with regard to the disposition of the Indians, who are 
doubtless advised to break with the white people, by the enemies to 
American liberty who reside among them. But I cannot conceive that 
you have any thing to fear from their pretended invasion by British 
troops, by the route they mention. This must, in' my opinion, be a 
scheme purposely calculated to intimidate the inhabitants, either to 
abandon their plantations or turn enemies to their country, neither of 
which I hope it will be able to effect. 

" Our Convention on the 14th of May, ordered 500 lbs. of gunpow- 
der to each of the counties of Fincastle, Botetourt, Augusta and West 
Augusta. . . . And double that quantity of lead . . . They likewise 

* The writer is indebted for this letter and the official report of the battle at 
tbe Island Flats, to the research and politeness of L. C. Draper, Esq. ^ 


orderedlOO men to be forthwith raised in Fincastle, to be stationed 
irhere our Committee directs for the protection of the frontier. * * • 
I sent the several letters and depositions you furnished me, from which 
it is reasonable to believe, that when all these shall have been examined 
Tigoiuoas measures will be adopted for our protection. 

^ I have advertised our Committee to meet at Fort Chiswell oa 
Tuesday, the 11th instant, and have directed the candidates for com- 
missions in the new companies, to exert themselves in engaging the 
number of men required until then ; I much expect wo shall have further 
news from Williamsburg by the time the Committee meets. 1 have 
written to Col. Callaway the second time for 200 lbs, of lead, which 
I hope he will deliver the bearer. This supply I hope will be some r^ 
Uef to your distressed settlement, and as I said before, should more be 
-wanted I am convinced you may be supplied. I am fxilly convinced that 
the expense will be repaid ydh by the Convention of Virginia or North- 
Carolina, on a fair representation of the case being laid before them, 
whichsoever of them takes your settlement under protection, as there ifl 
not the least reason that any one part of the colony should be at any 
•xtraofdinary expense in the defence of the whole, and you may be 
assured you cannot be over stocked with that necessary article ; ix 
should it please Providence that the impending storm should blow over, 
and there would be no occasion to use the ammunition in the general 
defence, then it might bo sold out to individuals, and the expense of 
the whole reimbursed to those who so generously contributed towards 
the purchase. 

^ lam, with the most sincere wishes for the safety of your settlement^ 
your most obedient and very humble servant, 

Wm. Preston."* 

Sach was the posture of defence assumed by the inhabi- 
tants after the receipt of the intelligence brought by Thomas 
Fallin and Williams. The former had proceeded on his 
mission to the authorities of Virginia for succour against a 
threatened invasion. The projected incursion of the Chero- 
leeSy as communicated by Nancy Ward to Thomas, was this: 
Seven hundred warriors were to attack the white settle- 
ments. They were to divide themselves into two divisions 
of three hundred and fifty each, under chosen leaders, one 
destined to fall upon the Watauga settlements, by a circtii- 
tous route along the foot of the mountains. The other divi- 
sion, to be commanded by the Dragging-Canoe in person, 
was, by a more northwardly route, to fall upon and break 
up the seittlements in the fork of the two branches of the 
Holston, and thence proceed into Virginia. 

* Original letter in this writer's posaeasioD. 


The alarm produced by this intelligence hastened the conio 
pletion of the defences and the embodiment of such a fored 
as the western settlements of Virginia and North-Carolina 
could supply. Five small companies, principally Virginians, 
immediately assembled under their respective captains, the 
eldest of whom, in commission, was Captain Thompsoiu 
They marched to Heaton's Station, where a fort had b^ea 
built, by the advice of Captain William Cocke, in advanoe 
of the settlements. Here they halted, as well to protect 
the people in the station as to procure information, by their 
spies and scouts, of the position of the enemy, of their num- 
ber, and, if possible, of their designs. In a day or two it 
was ascertained that the Indians, in a body of three or four 
hundred, were actually on the march towards the fort* A 
council was immediately held to determine whether it was 
most advisable to await in the fort the arrival of the Indians, 
with the expectation that they would come and attack it, or 
to march out in search of them and fight them wherever 
they could be found. It was urged in council by Captain 
Cocke, that the Indians would not attack them in the station, 
and enclosed in their block houses, but would pass by them 
and attack the settlements in small parties; and that for 
want of protection the greater part of the women and chil- 
dren would be massacred. This argument decided the con- 
troversy, and it was determined to march out and meet theoL 
The corps, consisting of one hundred and seventy men, 
marched from the station and took their course down towards 
the Long Island, with an advance of about twelve men in 
front. When they reached what are called the Island Flats^ 
the advance guard discovered a small party of Indians 
coming along the road meeting them, and immediately fired 
on them ; the Indians fled and the white people pursued for 
some time, but did not meet the enemy. A halt wa^s then 
made, and the men were formed in a line. A council was 
then held by the officers, in which it was concluded 
that, probably, they would not be able to meet any 
others of the enemy that day, and^ as evening was drawing 
on, that it was most prudent to return to the fort. But 
before all the troops had fallen into ranks and left the place 


where tbey had halted, it was announced that the Indians 
were advancing, in order of battle, in their rear.* Captain 
Thompson, the senior officer, who was at the head of the 
left line, ordered the right line to form for battle to the right, 
and the line which he headed, to the left, and to face the 
enemy. In attempting to form the line, the head of the right 
seemed to bear too much along the road leading to the sta- 
tion, and the part of the line further back, perceiving that 
the Indians were endeavouring to outflank them, was drawn 
off, by Lieutenant Robert Davis, as quickly as possible, and 
formed on the right, across the flat to a ridge, and prevented 
them from getting round the flank. The greater part of the 
officers, and not a few of the privates, gave heroic examples 
to canse the men to advance and give battle ; of the latter, 
Robert Edmiston and John Morrison made conspicuous exer- 
tions. They advanced some paces towards the enemy and 
began the battle by shooting down the foremost of them. 
The battle then became general. 

The Indians fought, at first, with great fury ; the foremost 
hallooing, the Unacas are running, come on and scalp them. 
Their first efifort was to break through the centre of our line* 
and to turn the left flank in the same instant. In both they 
failed of success, by the well directed fire of our riflemen. 
Several of their chief warriors fell, and, at length, their com- 
mander was dangerously wounded. This decided the vic- 
tory. The enemy immediately betook themselves to flight, 
leaving twenty-six of their boldest warriors dead on the field. 
The blood of the wounded could be traced in great profusion, 
in the direction of the enemy's retreat. Our men pursued 
in a cautious manner, lest they might be led into an ambus- 
cade, hardly crediting their own senses that so numerous a 
foe was completely routed. In this miracle of a battle, we 
had not a man killed and only five wounded, who all reco- 
vered. But the wounded of the enemy died till the whole 
loss in killed amounted to upwards of forty.f The battle 
lasted not more than ten minutes after the line was com- 
pletely formed and engaged before the Indians began to 
retreat ; but they continued to fight awhile in that way, to 
get the wounded off the ground. The firing during the time 

* Haywood. f Idem. 


of the action, particularly on the side of the white peopte, 
was very lively and well directed. This battle was fought 
on the 20th of July, 1776. 

An official report of this well fought battle, will be also 
17*76 \ E^^^^f ^^^ ^" detail than the preceding, but in most of 
I the essential parts entirely agreeing with it. 

<* On the 19th our scouts returned, and informed us that they had 
discovered where a great number of Indians were making into the set- 
tlements ; upon which alarm, the few men stationed at Eaton's, oom- 
pleted a breast-work sufficiently strong, with the assistance of what men 
were there, to have repelled a considerable number ; sent expresses to 
the different stations and collected all the forces in one body, and the 
morning after about one hundred and seventy turned out in search of 
the enemy. We marched in two divisions, with flankers on each add 
and scouts before. Our scouts discovered upwards of twenty meetinff us, 
and fired on them. They returned the fire, but our men rushed on ui^m 
with such violence that they were obliged to make a precipitate retreat. 
We took ten bundles and a good deal of plunder, and had ffreat reas(Hi 
to think some of them were wounded. This small skirmish happened 
on ground very disadvantageous for our men to pursue, though it was 
with the greatest difficulty our officers could restrain their men. A coun- 
cil was held, and it was thought advisable to return, as we imagined there 
was a large party not far off. We accordingly returned, and had not 
marched more than a mile when a number, not inferior to ours, attadced 
vs in the rear. Our men sustained the attack with great bravery and 
intrepidity, immediately fonning a line. The Indians endeavoured to 
surround us, but were prevented by the uncommon fortitude and vigilance 
of Capt. James Shelby, who took possession of an eminence that pre- 
vented their design. Our line of battle extended about a quarter of a 
mile. We killed about thirteen on the spot, whom we found, and have 
the greatest reason to believe that we could have found a great many 
more, had we had time to search for them. There were streams of blood 
every way ; and it was generally tho\ight there was never so much exe- 
cution done in so short a time on the frontiers. Never did troops fight 
with greater calmness than ours did. The Indians attacked us with the 
greatest fury imaginable, and made the most vigorous efforts to surround 
Ufl. Our spies really deserved the greatest applause. We took a great 
deal of plunder and many guns, and had only four men greatly wounded. 
The rest of the troops are in high spirits and ea^er foi\ anotlier engage- 
ment. We have the greatest reason to believe tliey are pouring in great 
numbers on us, and beg the assistance of our friends. 

James Thompson, John Campbell, 

James Shelby, William Cocke, 

William Buchanan, Thomas Madison. 

To Major Anthony Bledsoe, for him to be immediately sent to Colonel 

LiBifmrAiiT Moon and tmdiasi bbave. 1£5 

• A desperate hand-to-hand conflict took place during the 
battle^ The precise spot is still pointed out in a field on the 
left of the road passing through the grounds where the battle 
took place. The combatants were Lieutenant Moore, late of 
Sallivan, and a very large chief or leader of the Cherokees. 
Moore had shot the chief, wounding him in the knee, but not 
so badly as. to prevent him from standing. Moore advanced 
towards him, and the Indian threw his tomahawk but missed 
him. Moore sprung at him with his large butcher knife drawn, 
which the Indian caught by the blade and attempted to wrest 
^ora the hand of his antagonist. Holding on with desperate 
tenacity to the knife, both clinched with their left hands. A 
souffle ensued in which the Indian was thrown to the ground, 
his right hand being nearly dissevered and bleeding profusely. 
Ho(Hre still holding the handle of his knife in the right hand, 
succeeded with the other to disengage his own tomahawk 
from his belt, and ended the strife by sinking it in the skull 
of the Indian. Until this conflict was ended, the Indians 
fought with unyielding spirit. After its issue became known* 
they retreated. 

Mr. George Hufticre, late of Knox county, was in this bat- 
tle, and gives further particulars. He say3 : While the cap- 
tains were endeavouring to form line, some confusion ensued, 
when Isaac Shelby (a volunteer under no command and not 
in ranks) gave orders for each captain to fall into place, and 
with his company to march back a few paces and form line. 
This order was obeyed, and the line was immediately formed 
a short distance in the rear of four men left upon the eminence 
to watch the movements of the enemy. Encouraged by the 
apparent withdrawal of the troops and the small number in 
•igfat, the. Indians made a rapid forward movement against 
the four men on the rising ground, and pursued them into the 
line now completely formed, yelling and brandishing their 
tomahawks and war clubs. Edmondson being in the centre 
company, bore the weight of the enemy's assault several mi- 
nutes, and himself killed six of the most daring of the Indians. 
John Findley was one of the wounded. 

The consequences of this victory were of some importance 
to the Western inhabitants, otherwise than the destroying a 


namber of their influential and most vindictive enemies, ^nd 
lessening the hostile spirit of the Oherokees. It induced m 
concord and union of principle to resist the tyranny of the 
British government. It attracted the favour and attention of 
the. new commonwealth; it inspired military ideas and a 
contempt of danger from our savage enemies. The inquiry^ 
afterwards, when* in search of Indians, was not, how many of 
them are there? but, where are they to be found ? This spirit 
was kept up and often displayed itself on several important 
occasions during the war. * 

Another division of the Cherokees invaded the settlementil 
at another point and from another direction. This was com- 
manded by Old Abraham of Chilhowee. That chieftain was 
distinguished more for stratagem and cunning, than by valoor 
and enterprise. He led his division along the foot of the 
mountain by the Nollichucky path, hoping to surprise and 
massacre the unsuspecting and unprotected inhabitants upon 
that river. The little garrison at Gillespie's Station, apprised 
of the impending danger, had prudently broken up their fort 
and had withdrawn to Watauga, taking with them such of 
their moveable effects as the emergency allowed, but leaving 
their cabins, their growing crops and the stock in the ranges 
to the waste and devastation of the invaders. The Indians 
arriving at the deserted station soon after the garrison de- 
parted from it, hoped, by rapid marches, to overtake and 
destroy them. In the rapidity of the pursuit, the standing 
corn, stock and improvements of the settlers, remained un- 
touched and uninjured. The garrison reached Watauga in 
safety. The next morning, at sunrise, the Indians invested 
that place and attacked the fort, now strengthened by the 
small reinforcement from Gillespie's. Captain James Robert^ 
son commanded the ft>rces at Watauga, amounting in all to 
but forty men. Lieut. John Sevier and Mr. Andrew Greer 
were also present. The assault upon t)ie fort was vigorous 
and sudden. But, by the unerring aim of the riflemen within 
it, and the determined bravery of men protecting their 
women and children from capture and massacre, the assail- 
ants were repulsed with considerable loss. No one in the 

* Haywood. 

OAPnviTT OP iota bbav. 167 

fi>rt was wounded. Mrs. Bean had been taken prisoner by 
the Indians on their march, the preceding day. I'he killed 
and wounded of the Cherokees were carried off in sight of 
the people in the fort. The number could not be ascertained^ 
as the Indians remained skulking about in the adjacent woods 
for twenty days. During that time expresses had succeeded in 
escaping from the besieged fort at Watauga, and in commu- 
nicating to the station at Heaton's the dangerous condition 
in which the siege involved them. Col. Russell was requested 
to send them succour : and five small companies were ordered 
to proceed to Watauga. These could not be well spared 
from Heaton's — ^and some delay occurring, Col. Shelby raised 
one hundred iiorsemen and crossed the country to the relief 
of his besieged countrymen. Before his arrival at Watauga 
the siege was raised, and the Indians had hastily withdrawn. 
The attack of the Cherokees under Old Abraham, was on the 
SlsC of July, the next day after the Dragging>-Canoe had made 
his ansuccessful marph upon Heaton's Station near Long 

Mrs. Bean was captured near Watauga, and was taken by 
the Indians to their station camp over on Nollichucky. A 
white roan was there also a prisoner. He told her she was 
to be killed, and a warrior stepped towards and cocked his 
gun as if intending to shoot her. The white man, at the 
instance of the chiefs, then began to ask Mrs. Bean some 
questions : how many forts have the white people ? how many 
soldiers in each ? where are the forts 7 can they be starved 
outt have they got any powder? She answered these 
questions so as to leave the impression that the settlements 
could protect themselves. After conferring among themselves 
a few minutes, the chiefs told the white man to say to Mrs. 
Bean that she was not to be killed, l^ut that she had to go 
with them to their towns and teach their women how to 
make butter and cheese. 

After she was taken into captivity Mrs. Bean was con- 
demned to death. She was bound, taken to the top of one of 
the mounds, and was about to be burned, when Nancy Ward, 
then exercising in the nation the functions 3f the Beloved 
or Pretty Woman, interfered and pronounced her pardon. 
Her life was spared. We give farther details. 


The fort ,at Watauga, when attacked, had one hundred 
and fifty settlers within its enclosures The women from the 
fort had gone out at daj'breab to milk the cows and were 
fired upon, but made a safe retreat to the fort. A brisk 
fire was then made upon the garrison, and kept up till eight 
o'clock, without efiect. The assault was repelled with con- 
siderable loss to the assailants, as was inferred from th^ 
quantity of blood left upon the ground. In a short time after 
the Indians renewed the attack and continued before the fork 
six days. 

In the meantime, a soldier efiected his escape from Wap 
tauga and went to Holston express lor reinforcements. A 
detachment of one hundred rangers was instantly forwarded 
under the command of Col. Wm. Russell. On their way thi 
rangers fell in with a party of forty Cherokees, who were 
busy skinning a beef at a deserted plantation, fifty miles east 
of Long Island. Of these Col. Russell's men killed five and 
took one prisoner who was mortally wounded, and also 
made prize of twenty rifles belonging to the Indians.* 

During the time the Indians were around tBe fort, James 
Cooper and a boy named Samuel Moore, went out after 
boards to cover a hut. When near the mouth of Gap f reek, 
they were attacked by Indians ; Cooper leaped into the river, 
and by divings hoped to escape their arrows and bullets, but 
the water became too shallow and he was killed by them and 
scalped. The firing by the Indians and the screams of 
Cooper were heard in the fort, and Lieutenant John Sevier at- 
tempted to go to his succour. Captain Robertson saw that 
the Indians were superior in force to that within the fort, and/ 
that it would require all the men he commanded to protect the 
women and children from massacre. The firing and scream- 
ing without, he believed to be a feint on the part of the 
enemy to draw his men from the fortification, and he recalled 
Sevier and his party from the attempted rescue. Moore 
was carried prisoner to the Indian towns, and was tortured 
to death by burning. A few mornings after the battle a man 
named Clonse was found in the thicket below the fort, killed 
apd scalped. . 11^ had probably chosen the darkness of the 

'Maryland Qasette. 


night to reaoh tbe fort from some of the settlements, and had 
been interoepted and slain. The intelligence of the defeat 
at the Island Plats had probably reached the division com- 
manded by Old Abraham, and occasioned the precipitate re- 
treat from Watauga. 

Another division of the Gherokees, commanded by Raven^* 
had struck across the country, with the intention of falling 
npoD the frontier people of Carter's Valley. They came up 
Hdston to the lowest station, and finding the inhabitants 
toeurely shut up in forts, and hearing of the repulse at Wa- 
tauga and the bloody defeat at the Flats, they retreated and 
relumed to their towns. 

A fourth party of Indians had crossed the country still 
lower down, and fell in upon the inhabitants scattered along 
the valley of Clinch. To this body of the enemy no oppo- 
sing force was presented. They divided themselves into 
small detachments, and carried fire and devastation and 
massacre into every settlement, from the remotest cabin on 
Clinch, to the Seven Mile Ford, in Virginia. One of these 
detachments made a sudden inroad upon the Wolf Hills Set- 
tlement* A station had been built there, near the present 
town (of Abingdon, at the house of Joseph Black. This 
station was a centre or rallying point for the infant settle. 
ments then being extended down the Holston Valley, into 
what is now Tennessee. As early as 1772, a congregation 
was organized and two churches built among these primitive 
people, to whom the Rev. Charles Cummings regularly 
preached. On this occasion, Mr. Cummings and four others, 
going to his field, were attacked by the Indians. At the first 
fire William Creswell, who was driving a wagon, was killed, 
and during the skirmish two others were wounded. Mr. 
Cummings and his servant, both of wlfom were well armed, 
drove the Indians from their ambush, and with the aid of 
some men from the fort, who, hearing the tiring, came to 

• « The Maven is one of tbe Cherokee favourite war names. Carolina and 
Geoigia rememher Quorinnah, the Raven of Huwhase-town. He was one of the 
most daring warriors of the whole nation, and by far the most intelligent, and this 
Dune or war appellative admirably salted his well-known character.^ ** The nam^ 
pointa out an indef«tigftbl«, keeo^ sucoeBiful irvmar.^-^JLdair. 


their relief, brought in the dead and wounded. Mr. Cres- 
well had been in the battle at Long Island. His numeroas 
descendants reside in Sevier and Blount counties. 

From the period that Mr. C. commenced preaching in the 
Holston settlements, up to the time of this attack, the men 
never went to church without being armed and taking their 
families with them. On Sabbath morning, during most of 
this period, it was the custom of Mr. Cummings to dress 
himself neatly, put on his shot pouch, shoulder his rifle, mount 
his horse and ride off to church, where he met his gallant 
and intelligent congregation — each man with his rifle in his 
hand. The minister would then enter the church, walk 
gravely through the crowd, ascend the pulpit, deposit his 
rifle in a corner of it, lay off his shot pouch and commence 
the solemn services of the day.* 

The several invasions, by as many separate parties of 
Cherokee warriors, well armed, and carrying with them fall 
supplies of ammunition, were ascribed to the instigation of 
British officers. The imputation is a serious one, and should 
not be made without adequate testimony. It is abhorrent to 
the feelings of civilized man ; it is in direct conflict with the 
kindly sympathies of a christian people, and it is repugnant 
to all the pleasant charities of life, to incite a blood-thirsty 
and barbarous nation to perpetrate outrage and cruelty, 
rapine and murder, havoc and war, indiscriminately upon 
valiant men, helpless women and innocent children. Not 
only was this invasion by the Cherokees imputed to British 
agency, but the details of it were traced to a concerted plan 
of attack, arranged by Gen^jGage and the Superintendent of 
Indian Affairs. 

John Stuart was sole agent and Superintendent of his 
Majesty's Indian Affairs for the Southern District. For a 
long time he had been suspected of endeavouring to influ- 
ence the Indians against the American cause. In support 
of these suspicions, a gentleman from North-Carolina had 
given some particulars to the committee of intelligence, in 
Charleston, which he had collected from the Catawba In- 
dians. Stuart departed suddenly from Charleston, just before 

* Letter of General Campbell, of AbiogdoD. 

cAPTAnr stcart'b lettek-book. 161 

the meeting of the Provincial Congress, and went to Savan* 
nalh There his official letter-liook was seen, by Mr. Haber- 
sham, in which a- full confirmation was found of the 8uspi« 
cions excited against him, and proving that his intention was, 
evidently^to arouse the resentment and stimulate the bad 
passions of the savages in their neighbourhood against 
Anglo-Americans struggling against oppression, and vindi- 
cating the rights of freemen. In the letter-book was found 
a despatch from Mr. Cameron, saying to Mr. Stuart, ** that 
the traders most, by some means or other, get ammunition 
among them, or otherwise they may become troublesome to 
Um for the want of it.** The ammunition was, doubtless, 
finmished, and went into the outfit of the several detach- 
ments of warriors that soon after invaded the qlliet and 
unoffending pioneers of Tennessee. 

Only one of these written disclosures of the murderous 
policy adopted by England against American citizens, had 
yet reached the frontier ; but there were other sources of in- 
formation, not less authentic or reliable, fVom which the 
machinations of the enemy were soon made known. The 
traders noticed at first a spirit of suspicion and discontent, 
and directly after unmistakable evidences of fixed resentment 
and hostility. This discovery was communicated to the 
settlers, and along with the friendly interposition of the Che- 
rokee Pocahontas, saved the settlements from a surprise thdfC' 
might otherwise have proved fatal. 

Simultaneously with these several invasions of the frontier 
settlements of Virginia and North-Carolina by the Cherokees, 
that warlike nation was carrying into execution the mur- 
derous policy instigated by British officers against South- 
Carolina and Georgia. A plan for compelling the colonies 
to submission, had been concerted between the British com- 
mander-in-chief. General Gage, and the Superintendent of 
Southern Indian Affairs, John Stuart. That plan shall be 
given in the words of a British historian :* 

^British agents were again employed, in engaging the Indians to 
make a diversion, and to enter the Southern Colonies on their back and 
ddnideaa parts. Accnatomed to their diapositions and habits of mind, 

• C. Stednum, History American War, yd. 1. 


the agents found bnt litUe difficulty in bringing them over to their pni^ 
pose, by presents and hopes of spoil and plunder. A large body of men 
was to be sent to West Florida, in order to penetrate through the terri- 
tories of the Creeks, Chickasaws and Cherokees. The warriors of theee 
nations were to join the body, and the Carolinas and Virginia were im- 
mediately to be invaded. At the same time the i^ttention of the colo- 
nies was to be diverted, by another formidable naval and military force, 
which was to make an impression on the sea coast. But this under- 
taking was not to depend solely on the British army and Indians. It 
was intended to engage the assistance of such of the white inhabitants <^ 
the back settlements, as were known to be well a£^ted to the British 
cause. Circular letters were accordingly sent to those persons by Mr. 
Stuart, requiring not only the well a^cted, but also those who wished 
to preserve their property from the miseries of a civil war, to repair to 
the royal standard as soon as it should be erected in the Cherokee 
country, with all their horses, cattle and provisions, for which they should 
be liberally paid." 

A part only of this compKcated plan was executed. Sir 
Peter Parker appeared with a British squadron in May, 
o£f the coast of North-Carolina, and early in June prepared 
to attack Charleston with a large naval and military fbroe. 
The Indians were true to their engagement Being informed 
that a 'British fleet with troops had arrived off Charleston, 
they proceeded to take up the war club, and with the dawn 
of day on the first day of July, the Cherokees poured down 
upon the frontiers of South-Carolina, massacring without 
distinction of age or sex, all persons who fell into their 
ppwer. Several white men with whom Cameron and Stuart 
had been intriguing, painted and dressed as Indians, marched 
with and directed their attacks upon the most defenceless 
points of the frontier. The news of the gallant defence at 
Sullivan's Island, and the repulse of Sir Peter Parker, in the 
harbour of Charleston, on the 28th of June» arrived soon after 
that glorious victory, and frustrated in part the plan as con- 

Preparations were immediately made, to march with an 
imposing force upon the Cherokee nation. The whole fron- 
tier, from Georgia to the head of Holston in Virginia, had 
been invaded at once ; and the four southern colonies, now 
on the point of becoming sovereign and independent states, 
assumed an offensive position, and determined in their turn 
to invade and destroy their deluded and savage enemies. 


The Cherokee nation at this time occupied, as places of resi- 
( dence or as hunting grounds, all the territory west and 
I north of the upper settlements in Georgia, and west of 
the Carolinas and South-western Virginia. They were the 
most warlike and enterprising of the native tribes, and, ex- 
eept the Greeks, were the most numerous. Intercourse with 
the whites had made them acquainted with the use of small 
arms and some of the modes of civilized warfare. They had 
made some advances in agriculture. They lived in towns of 
various sizes — their government was simple, and in time of 
war especially, the authority of their chiefs and warriors was 
supreme. Their country was known by three great geo- 
graphical divisions : The Lower Towns, the Middle Settle- 
ments and Vallies, and the Over-hill Towns. 
The. number of warriors were, in the 

Middle Settlements and Yallies, ... 878 

In Lower Towoa, 856 

In Over-hill Towns, ^57 

Total Cherokee men in Towds, - - - 1991 

To these may be added such warriors as lived in the less 
oompact settlements, estimated at five hundred. * 

To inflict suitable chastisement upon the Cherokees, seve- 
ral expeditions were at once made into their territories. Colo- 
nel McBury and Major Jack, from Georgia, entered the Indian 
settlements on Tugaloo, and defeating the enemy, destroyed 
all their towns on that river. General Williamson, of South- 
Carolina, early in July began to embody the militia of that 
state, and before the end of that month was at the head of. 
an army of eleven hundred and fifty men, marching to meet 
Cameron, who was, with a large body oCEsseneca Indians and 
disaffected white men, encamped at Oconoree. Encounter- 
ing and defeating this body of the enemy, he destroyed their 
town and a large amount of provisions. He burned Sugaw 
Town, Soconee, Keowee, Ostatoy, Tugaloo and Brass Town. 
He proceeded against Toniassee, Chchokee and Eustustie, 
ijirhere, observing a recent trail of the enem3', he made pur- 
suit and soon met and vanquished three hundred of their 
warriors. These towns he afterwards destroyed. 



In the meantime, an army had been raised in North-Caro- 
lina, nnder command of General Rntherford, and a place of 
joining their respective forces had been agreed upon by that 
officer and Colonel Williamson, under the supposition that 
nothing less than their united force was adequate to the redac- 
tion of the Middle Settlements and Vallies. Colonel Martin 
Armstrong, of Surry county, in August raised a small regiment 
of militia and marched with them to join General Rutherford. 
Benjamin Cleveland was one of Armstrong's captains. Wil- 
Ham (afterwards general) Lenoir was Cleveland's first Wexb- 
tenant, and William Gray his second lieutenant. Armstrong's 
regiment crossed John's River at McKenney's ford, passed 
the Quaker Meadows and crossed the Catawba at Greenlee's 
ford, and at Cathey's Fort joined the army under General 
Rutherford, consisting of above two thousand men. The Blue 
Ridge was crossed by this army at the Swannanae Gap, and 
the march continued down the river of the same name to its 
mouthy near to which they crossed the French Broad. From 
that river the -army marched up Hominy Creek, leaving Pis- 
gah on the left and crossing Pigeon a little below the mouth 
of the East Fork. Thence throu^ the mountain to Richland 
Creek, above the present Waynesville, and ascending that 
creek and crossing Tuckaseigee River at an Indian town. 
They then crossed the Cowee Mountain, where they had an 
engagement with the enemy, in which but one white man was 
wounded. The Indians carried off their dead. From thence 
the army marched to the Middle Towns on Tennessee River, 
where they expected to form a junction with the South-Caro- 
lina troops under General Williamson. Here, after waiting 
a few days, they left a strong guard and continued the march 
to the Hiwassee towns. All the Indian villages were found 
evacuated, the warriors having fled without oflTering any 
resistance. Few were killed or wounded on either side, and 
but few prisoners taken by the whites — but they destroyed all 
the buildings, crops and stock of the enemy, and left them in 
a starving condition. This army returned by the same route 
it had marched. They destroyed thirty or forty Cherokee 
towns. * The route has since been known as Rutherford's 

* Gen. Lenoir's letter to this writer. 


While the troops commanded by McBury, Williamson and 
Rutherford, were thus desolating the Lower Towns and 
Middle Settlements of the Cherokees, another army, not less 
valiant or enterprising, had penetrated to the more secure, 
because more remote, Over-hill Towns. We have seen that 
the great chieftains of these interior places, Dragging-Ganoe, 
Old Abram of Cbilhowee, and Raven, had, at the head of 
their several commands, fallen upon Watauga and the other 
infant settlements, and although signally repulsed, some of 
ihem had united with another detachment, under another 
leader, and were spreading devastation and ruin upon the 
unprotected settlements near the head of Holston and Clincfaf 
in Virginia. The government of that state, indignant at 
aggressions so unprovoked and so offensive, soon acted in a 
manner suitable to her exalted sense of national honour. 
Orders were immediately given to Col. William Christian to 
raise an army and to march them at once into the heart of 
the Cherokee country. The place of rendezvous was the 
Great Island of Holston. This service was undertaken with 
the greatest alacrity, and so active were the exertions of the 
officers and men that by the first of August several compa- 
nies had assembled at the place appointed. This prepara- 
tory movement was itself sufficient to drive off the Indiana 
who still remained lurking around the settlements. Soon 
after Col. Christian was reinforced by three or four hundred 
North-Cai^lina militia, under Col. Joseph Williams, Col. 
Love and Major Winston. To these were added such gun- 
men as could be spared from the neighbouring forts and 
stations. The whole army took up the line of march for the 
Cherokee towns, nearly two hundred miles distant. Crossing 
the Holston at the Great Island, they marched eight miles 
and encamped at the Double Springs, on the head waters of 
Lick Creek. Here the army remained a few days, till the 
reinforcement from Watauga should overtake it. The whole 
force now amounted to eighteen hundred men, including 
paok-horse men and bullock drivers. All were well armed 
with rifles, tomahawks and butcher knives. The army was 
all infant}^, except a single compi^ny of light horse. While 
on the march the precaution was taken to send forward 


sixteen spies to the crossing place of the French Broad. The 
Indians had boasted that the white men should never cross 
that river. Near the mouth of Lick Creek were extensive 
cane-brakes, which, with a lagoon or swamp of a mile long, 
obstructed the march. The army succeeded, however, in 
crossing through this pass. The packs and beeves did not 
get through till midnight. At the encampment that night, 
Alexander Harlin came in and informed Col. Christian that 
a body of three thousand warriors were awaiting his arrival 
at French Broad, and would certainly there dispute his pas- 
sage across that stream. He was ordered into camp with 
the spies. At the bend of Nollichucky the camps of the 
enemy were found by the spies, deserted, but affording 
unerring evidence that the Indians were embodied in large 
numbers. This, with the message of Harlin, put the com- 
mander on his guard, and the march was resumed, next day, 
with every precaution and preparation against a surprise. 
Harlin was dismissed with a request from Col. Christian that 
he would inform the Indians of his determination to cross 
not only the French Broad, but the Tennessee, before he 
stopped. The route to be pursued was unknown and through 
a wilderness. Isaac Thomas, a trader among the Cherokees, 
acted as the pilot. He conducted the army along a narrow 
but plain war path up Long Creek to its source, and down 
Dumplin Creek to a point a few miles from its mouth, where 
the war path struck across to the ford of French Broad, near 
what has since been known as Buckingham's Island. As 
they came down Dumplin, and before they reached the river, 
the army was met by Fallen, a trader, having a white flag 
in his rifle. Christian directed that he should not be dis- 
turbed and that no notice should be taken of his embassy. 
He departed immediately, and gave to the Indians informa- 
tion that the whites, as numerous as the trees, were march- 
ing into their country. Arrived at the river. Col. Christian 
ordered every mess to kindle a good fire and strike up teiit, 
as though be intended to encamp there several days. During 
the night a large detachment was sent down the river to an 
island, near where Brabson's mill now stands, with direc- 
tions to cross the river at that- place, and to come up the 


rivviTy on its sonthem bank, next morning. This order was 
executed with great difficulty. The ford was deep, and the 
water so rapid as to require the men to march in platoons of 
four abreast, so as to brace each other against the impetu- 
ous stream. In one place the water reached nearly to the 
shoulders of the men, but the ammunition and the guns were 
kept dry. 

Next morning the main body crossed the river near the 
Big Island. They marched in order of battle, expecting an 
attack from the Indians, who were supposed to be lying 
about in ambush ; but to their surprise no trace was found 
even of a recent camp. The detachment met no molestation 
from the enemy, and, joining the main body, a halt was made 
one day, for the purpose of drying the baggage and provi- 
sions which had got wet in crossing the river. 

When it was understood in the Cherokee nation that 
Christian was about to invade their territory, one thousand 
warriors assembled at the Big Island of French Broad to 
resist the invaders. The great war path, which led through 
ity was considered as the gate to the best part of their coun- 
try ; and the island being the key to it, the Indians deter- 
mined to maintain and defend that point to the last extremity. 
From that place, a message was sent by Fallen, as already 
mentioned, addressed to the commanding officer, not to at- 
tempt the crossing, as a formidable host of their braves 
would be there to dispute the passage. After the departure 
of the messenger, a trader named Starr, who was in the 
Indian encampment, harangued the warriors in an earnest , 
tone. He said that the Great Spirit had made the one race 
of white clay and the'other of red ; that he had intended the 
former to conquer and subdue the latter, and that the pale 
faces would not only invade their country, but would over- 
run and occupy it. He advised, therefore, an immediate 
abandonment of their purpose of defence, and a retreat to 
their villages and the fastnesses of their mountains. The 
trader's counsels prevailed — all defensive measures were 
abandoned, and, without waiting for the return of their mes- 
sengers, the warriors dispersed, and the island was found 
deserted and their encampments broken up and forsaken. 


The next morhiog the army resumed its march. The route 
led along the valley of Boyd's Creek and down Ellejay to Lit- 
tle River. From there to the Tennessee River not an Indian 
was seen. Col. Christian supposed that, as the Cherokee 
settlements and towns were upon the opposite bank, he 
would meet a formidable resistance in attempting to cross 
it. When the troops came within a few miles of the ford, 
he called upon them to follow him in a run till they came to 
the river. This was done, and, pushing through, they took 
possession of a town called Tamotlee, above the mouth of 
Telico. The army, pack horses, &c., were all safely crossed 
over before night, and the encampment was made in the 
deserted town. Next morning they marched to the Great 
Island Town, which was taken without resistance. The 
fertile lands in the neighbourhood furnished a supply of corn, 
potatoes and other provisions, and the Indian huts made 
comfortable bivouacs for the troops. The commander, for 
these reasons, made this place, temporarily, head-quarters 
and a centre for future operations. A panic had seized the 
Cherokee warriors, and not one of them could be found. 
Small detachments were, therefore, from time to time, sent 
out to different parts of the nation, and finding no armed 
enemy to contend against, they adopted, as not a less effec- 
tual chastisement of the implacable enemy, the policy of 
laying waste and burning their fields and towns. In this 
manner Neowee, Telico, Chilhowee and other villages were 
destroyed. Occasionally, during these excursions, a few 
warriors were seen, escaping from one town to a place of 
greater safety, and were killed. No males were taken pri- 
soners. These devastations were confined to such towns as 
were known to have advised or consented to hostilities, while 
such, like the Beloved Town, Chota, as had been disposed to 
peace, were spared. Col. Christian endeavoured to convince 
the Cherokees that he warred only with enemies. He sent 
oat tliree or four men with white flags, and requested a talk 
with the chiefs. Six or seven immediately came in. In a 
few days several others, from the more distant towns, came 
forward also and proposed peace. It was granted, but not 
to take effect till a treaty should be made by representatives 


from the whole tribe, to assemble the succebding May, at 
Long Island. A suspension of hostilities was, in the mean- 
time, provided for, with the exception of two towns high up 
in the mountains, on Tennessee River. These had burnt a 
prisoner, a youth named Moore, whom they had taken at 
Watauga. Tuskega and the other excepted town were 
reduced to ashes. 

Colonel Christian finding nothing more to occupy his army 
longer, broke up his camp at Great Island Town, marched 
to Chota, recrossed the Tennessee and returned to the settle- 
ments. In this campaign of about three months, not one man 
was killed. A few, from inclement weather and undue fatiguOf 
beeame sick. . No one died. The Rev. Charles Cummings 
accompanied the expedition as chaplain, and was thus the 
first christian minister that ever preached in Tennessee. A 
pioneer of civilization, of learning and of religion — let his 
memory not be forgotten ! 

Most of the troops commanded by Christian were disbanded 
at Long Island, where they had been mustered into service. 
A portion of them were retained and went into winter quar- 
ters. A new fort was erected there, which, in honour of the 
patriotic Governor of Virginia, was called ^'Fort Henry.^^ Its 
ruins are still pointed out on the lands of Colonel Nether- 
land. Supplies of provisions were brought to it from Rock 
Bridge and Augusta counties, in wagons and on pack-horses. 

Captain Thompson, who commanded a company at Long 
Island in July preceding, was with his company in this cam- 
paign, and formed the life-guard of the commanding general* 

In the centre of the Cherokee towns, taken by Christian's 
troops, was found a circular tower, rudely built and covered 
with dirt, thirty feet in diameter and about twenty feet high. 
This tower was used as a council house and as a place for 
celebrating the green corn dance and other national ceremo- 
nials. Within it were beds, made of cane, rather tastefully 
arranged around its circumference. Each tower hsul a single 
entrance, a narrow door. There was neither window nor 

The unexpected invasions made by the hitherto peaceable 
Cheiokees upon the infant settlements, retarded for a time 


the rapid growth and enlargement by which they had becfn^ 
for five years, so signally distinguished. But the remarkable 
miccess that had followed the unaided efforts of some of the 
stations, to repulse the assailants and to defend themselves, 
left little ground of apprehension for the future. Not one 
emigrant deserted the frontier or crossed the mountain for 
safety. On the other hand, the campaign that had been carried 
into the heart of the enemy's country, had done more for the 
new settlements than the mere security it afforded from pre- 
sent assault or future invasion. The volunteers who com- 
posed the command of Christian were, many of them, from 
the more interior counties of North-Carolina and Virginia. 
In their marches they had seen and noticed the fertile vallies, 
the rich uplands, the sparkling fountains, the pellucid streams, 
the extensive grazing and hunting grounds, and had felt the 
genial influences of the climate of the best part of East Teii^ 
nessee. Each soldier, upon his return home, gave a glowing 
account of the adaptation of the country to all the purposes 
of agriculture. The story was repeated from one to another, 
till upon the Roanoke and the Yadkin the people spoke fami- 
liarly of the Holston, the NoUichucky, the French Broad, Lit- 
tle River and the Tennessee. Particular places were selected, 
springs designated and points chosen as centres for future 
settlements. A flood of emigration followed to strengthen, 
build up and enlarge the little community already planted 
across the mountain. 

Notwithstanding these accessions to their strength, the 
frontier people continued their accustomed vigilance. A gar- 
rison was still maintained in Fort Henry. The military com- 
mand of the country was in the hands of Col. Arthur Camp- 
bell, of Washington county, Virginia, under the belief that 
the settlements were included within the limits of that state. 
Col. Campbell ordered Captain Robertson to keep the Wa- 
tauga people assembled in two places for mutual protection 
and safety — he designated Patton's and Rice's Mills as the 
most suitable points, on account of the weakness of the set- 
tlement below the fort, and of the danger to which 'they might 
soon b^ exposed. 

In addition to these precautionary measures, it was ordered 


by the authorities of Virginia that four hundred men, under 
the command of Col. Evan Shelby and Major Anthony Bled- 
soe, should be stationed on the south-western frontiers, at such 
places as would most effectually protect the inhabitants 
against the Indians. A part of the Cherokees were known 
to be still hostile — their towns had been destroyed and their 
country laid waste, but their warriors had survived, and some 
of them still panted for revenge, and had resolved to repu- 
diate any participation in the contemplated treaty. 

A letter is preserved from Col. Charles Robertson, Trustee 
of the Watauga Association. In it will be found some infor- 
mation never before published. It follows : 

Washington DirrRicr, 27th April, 1Y77. 

^t JBxeelUncy Richard Caswell, 

Captain General of North- Carolina : 

Sir : The many hostilities committed by the Cherokee and Creek In- 
cBrqs on this frontier, since the departure of the gentlemen delegates 
bom this county, merit vour Excellency's consideration. I will give 
myself the pleasure to in/orm you of the particulars of this distressed 
place, and of our unhappy situation. There have been several murders 
committed lately, and on the 10th of this instant one Frederick Calvatt 
was shot and scalped, but is yet living ; and on the day following Capt. 
James Robertson pursued the enemy with nine men, killed one and re- 
took ten horses, and on his return in the evening was attacked by a 
party of Creeks and Cherokees, who wounded two of his men. Rob- 
ertson returned the fire very bravely, but was obliged to retreat on account 
of thrir superior numbers, still kept the horses and brought them in. 
On the 27th of March last. Col. Nathaniel Guess brought letters from 
the Governor of Virginia, which letters were sent by an Indian woman 
to the Cherokee nation, soliciting them to come in, in eighteen days, to 
treat for peace ; accordingly there came a party of about eighty-five fel- 
lows, (bat none of the principal warriors that had first begup the war,) 
and at their arrival the commanding officer at Fort Patrick Henry sent 
for me to march some troops to that garrison, as a guard during the 
treaty. Accordingly I went, and on the 20th ult. the talks began, and 
the artides of the treaty were as follows : first, a copy of the governor's 
ktter was read to them, promising them protection, such as ammuni- 
tion, provision, and men to build forts, and guard and assist them 
aguDst any nation, white or red ; and in return the Commissioners re- 
quired the same from them, to which the Indians replied, they could not 
%[fat against their Father, King George, but insisted on Col. Christian's 
liromise to them last fall, that if they would mak% a peace they should 
lie neutral and no assistance be asked from them by the stj^tes. The Com- 
nuBsioners then asked some of them to go to Wilhamsburgh, not as hos- 


)72 ^ TRSATT AT LONG lil^AND. 

tages, but to see their goods ^delivered, to obviate any auspicion of falae 
reports. A number of about ten agreed to go ; the Commiasioners then 
told them that Virginia and South-Carolina gave them peace and pro- 
tection, and Nor^-Carolina offered it : to which the Indians reptied, 
they heard the tklls from South -Carolina, and they and the talks from 
Virginia were very good. The Indians then promised to try and bring 
in the Dragging Canoe and his party, (a party that lies out, and has refused 
to come in, but says they will hold &st to Cameron's talks,) and they stall 
made no doubt but they could prevail on him, and said that he had sent 
his talk with them, and what they agreed to he would abide by. But 
the Little Carpenter, in private conversation with Capt Thomas Price, 
contradicted it, and said that the Canoe and his party were fighting 
Capt. Robertson a few days before ; and the last day of the talks there 
amved an express from Clinch River, informing us of two men bdng 
killed, to which the Indians replied, to keep a sharp look out, for there 
were a great many of their men out ; and several of their women pre- 
sent declared that the talks was before the time to get guns and am- 
munition and continue the war as formerly. Accordingly they de- 
manded them, which was the finishing of the talk, and in sixty days 
they were to come in to treat and confirm the peace, and if they could 
not bring in the Dragging Canoe, they send word laying the blame of 
the late murder on the Creeks. 

This, sir, is a true state of the whole proceedings of which I have the 
honour to inform your Excellency, conscious you will take every prudenlt 
method for our security. 

I am, sir, your most obedient and meet humble servant, 

Charlkb Robxrtsok. 

N. 6. There has been to the number of about twelve persons killed, 
since the delegates departed. 

But the Cherokee nation at large was reduced to great 
want and suffering. Their national pride being humbled 
and their martial spirit subdued, they made overtures of 
peace. Two separate treaties were made. The one at 
Dewitt's Corner with Commissioners from South-C&rolina 
and Georgia, by which large cessions of country on the Sa- 
vannah and Saluda Rivers were made. The other was held, 
according to the agreement made between Col. Christaia 
and several of the chiefs of the Over-hill Towns, at Long** 
Island. It was conducted by Waightstill Avery, Joseph 
VTinton and Robert Lanier, Commissioners on the pairt of 
North-Carolina, and Col Preston, Col. Christian and Col. 
Evan Shelby on the part of Virginia, and the Head-men and 
warriors for the C&erokee Indians. By this treaty BrownV 
line was established as the boundary line between the con- 



taMSting parties, and the Indians relinquished their lands as 
low down Holston as the mouth of Cloud's Creek. 

Dufing the progress of the negotiation, the Commissioners 
r^roached the Cherokees ^ith a breach of good faith, on 
aOcouRt of some massacres that had been perpetrated du- 
riBg the suspension of hostilities. They excused themselves by 
ascribing these murders to the Chickamaugas, a tribe settled 
on a creek of that name, whose chieftain, the Dragging Ga^ 
noe,,had refused to accept of peace on the terms offered by 
CoL Christian. 

The whole treaty and the proceedings during the negotia^ 
tion» are found in Haywood, Appendix, page 488, and onward. 
It 18 deemed to be sufficient here to give the boundaries as 
agreed upon between North-Carolina and the Cherokees, as 
fbniidm Article V of the treaty. 


That the boundary line between the State of North-Carolina and 
the said Over-hill Cherokees shall forever hereafter be and remain as 
idbwB, (to wit:) Beginning at a point in the dividing line which 
darinff this treab^ hath been agreed upon between the said Over-hill 
Cberokees and the State of Virginia, wnere the line between that state 
and North-Carolina (hereafter to be extended) shall cross or intersect 
liie aune, running thence a right line to the north bank of Holston 
Biver at the mouth of Cloud's Creek, being the second creek below the 
Warrior's Ford, at the mouth of Carter's V allev, thence a right line to . 
the highest point of a mountain called the High Rock or Chimney Top, 
fiom £enoe a right line to the mouth of Camp Creek, otherwise called ^ 
M<^Nama's Creek, on the south bank of Nolichucky River, about ten 
miles or thereabouts below the mouth of Great Limestone, be the same 
more or less, and from the mouth of Camp Creek aforesaid a south-east 
course into the mountains which divide the hunting grounds of the 
middle settlements from those of the Over-hill Cherokees. 

The Commissioners of North Carolina appointed Captain James 
Robertson temporary agent for North-Carolina, and in written instruc- 
tions directed him to repair to Chota in company with the warriors re- 
toming from the treaty, there to reside till otherwise ordered by the 
governor. He was to discover if possible, the disposition of the Drag- 
ghig Canoe towards this treaty, as also, of Judge Friend, the Lying Fish 
and others, who did not attend it, and whether there was any danger of 
a renewal of hostilities by one or more of these chiefs. He was also to 
find out the conversations between the Cherokees and the southern, 
western and northern tribes of Indians. He was to search in all the 
Indian towns for persons disaffected to the American cause, and have 
them brought before some justice of the peace, to take the oath of fidelity 
to the United States, and m case of refusal to deal with them as the law 
directed. Travellers into the Indian nation without passes, such as the 


third article of the treaty required, were to be secured. He was imme- 
diately to get into possession all the horses, cattle and other property, 
belonging to the people of North-Carolina, and to cause them to be re- 
stored to their respective owners. He was to inform the government of 
all occurrences worthy of notice, to conduct himself with prudence and 
to obtain the favour and confidence of the chie& ; and in all matters witb 
respect to which, he was not particularly instructed, he was to exercise his 
own discretion, always keeping in view the honour and interest of the 
United States in general, and of North-Carolina in particular. These 
instructions were dated on the same day the treaty was signed, the 20th 
of July, 17*77. The commissioners addressed a letter to the chiefs and 
warriors of the Middle, Lower and Valley towns, on the 21st of July, in- 
forming them of the treaty of peace which they had just signed, and of 
the intention of the oomimssioners to recommend to the governor the 
holding of a treaty with them, of which he should give due notice to 
them of the time and place. They promised protection and safety to 
the chie& and warriors who should attend it, and a suspension of hostili- 
ties in the meantime, and they requested that the messengers who 
should be sent from North-CaroUna to- their towns, might be protected 
from insult, be permitted to perform their business, and to return in 


In April of this year an act was passed by the Legislature 
( of North-Carolina, for the encouragement of the mili- 
( tia and volunteers in prosecuting the war against that 
part of the Cherokees who still persisted in hostilities. At 
the same session an act was passed for the establishment of 
courts of pleas and quarter sessions, and also for appointing 
and commissioning justices of the peace and sheriffs for the 
several courts in the district of Washington, in this state. 

No frontier community had ever been better governed than 
the Watauga settlement. In war and in peace, without legisla- 
tors or judicial tribunals, except those adopted and provided 
by themselves, the settlers had lived in uninterrupted har- 
mony — acting justly to all, offering violence and injury to 
none. But the primitive simplicity of patriarchal life, as 
exhibited by a small settlement in a secluded wilderness^ 
uncontaminated by contact with the artificial society of 
older communities, was forced to yield to the stem commands 
of progress and improvement. The hunter and pastoral 
stages of society were to be merged into the agricultural and 
commercial, the civil and political. Hereafter, Watauga, 
happy, independent, free and self-reliant, the cradle of the 
Great West, is merged into and becomes a part of North-Caro- 
lina I 






The general assembly of North-Carolina in November, 
aeventaen hundred and seventy-seven, formed Washington dis- 
trict into a county of the same name, assigning to it the bound- 
aries of the whole of the present great State of Tennessee.* 
By an act passed at the same session, establishing Entry Ta- 
kers' offices in the several counties, ** lands which have ac- 
omed or shall accrue to the. state by treaty or conquesty^ are 
subject to entry, &c.t 

At the same session of the assembly, provision was made 
for opening a land-office in Washington county, at the rate of 
f<H*ty shillings per hundred acres, with the liberal permission 
to each head of a family to take up six hundred and ibrty 
acres himself, one hundred acres for his wife, and the same 
quantity for each of his children. The law provided that the 
Watauga settlers should not be obliged to pay for their occu- 
pancies till January of 1779, and then for any surplus entered 
above the quantity before mentioned, the purchaser was re- 
quired to pay five pounds per hundred.^ 

The facility of taking up the choice lands of the country^ 
induced great numbers of persons, principally those without 
moans^ to emigrate to the frontier. A poor man, with seldom 
more than a single pack-horse on which the wife and infant 
were carried, with a few clothes and bed-quilts, a skillet and 
a small sack of meal, was often seen wending his way along 
the narrow mountain trace, with a rifle upon his shoulder — 
the elder sons carrying an axe, a hoe, sometimes an auger 

*For the botmdiries of Washington connty, and all counties subsequently 
cneled out of it, aee Appendix at end of volume. 
t IredeU*a Rmriaal, page 292, chap. I, sec. 3. 


and a saw, and the older daughters leading or carrying the 
smaller children. Without a dollar in his pocket when he 
arrived at the distant frontier, the emigrant became at once 
a large land-holder. Such men laid the foundation of society 
and government in Tennessee. They brought no wealth with 
them — but what was far better, they bad industrious and fru- 
gal habitSy they had hardihood and enterprise, and fearlessness 
and self-reliance. With such elements in the character of its 
pioneers, any community will soon subdue the wilderness to 
the purposes of agriculture. 

Hitherto emigrants had reached the new settlements upon 
pack-horses and along the old trading paths or narrow traces 
that had first been blazed by hunters. No wagon road had 
been opened across the mountains of North-Carolina to the 
West. The legislature of this year appointed commissioners 
to lay off and mark a road from the court-house of Washington 
county into the county of Burke. After that road Was openedt 
emigrants of larger property began to reach the country, and 
some of the settlements assumed the appearance of greater 
eomfort and thrift. The first house covered with shingles was 
put up this year. It stood a few miles east of the present 
Jonesboro', near *'The Cottage," the residence of J. W. 
Deaderick, Esq. 

Under the provisions of an act passed for encouraging the 
militia and volunteers to prosecute the war against the In- 
dians, the militia of Washington county was, for the greater 
part of this year, in the service of the state. This enabled 
every able-bodied man between eighteen and fifty years of 
age to secure the lands he wished to own. It had the fur- 
ther effect of keeping the frontier well guarded. Companies 
of rangers were kept upon the most exposed points to scour 
the woods and cane-brakes, and to pursue and disperse small 
parties of ill-disposed Indians who, hovering about the settle- 
ments, occasionally killed and plundered the inhabitants. 
Under the protection of these rangers, the settlements were 
widened and extended down Nollichucky below the mouth of 
Big Limestone, and down Holston to the treaty line. Indeed, 
the frontiers were so well guarded that the Indians consi- 
dered their incursions as perilous to themselves as they could 



be to the white inhabitants, and for a great part of the year 
forbore to make them.* 

John Carter was appointed Colonel of Washington county, 
1*1*1*1 \ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ execution of his duties as commandant, his 
( authority had been interfered with by men acting under 
the orders of General Rutherford. Bringing this subject to 
the notice of Governor Caswell, Col. Carter uses this inde- 
pendent language: ''Your Excellency may be assured that I 
will do everything in my power for regulating the militia, 
for the defence of our frontier, and for the benefit of the 
United States, but if my dignity is to be sported with under 
those circumstances, I have no need of your commission as 
commanding officer for Washington District. 

''N. B. I have just received intelligence of the Little 
Carpenter being at the Long Island, with twenty-five or thirty 
young warriors. They declare the greatest friendship, and 
say they have five hundred young warriors ready to come 
to the assistance of Virginia and North-Carolina when called 
for, if to fight the English or any Indians that want war with 
the white people of these two states.'^ 

During the summer of this year the Indians invaded the 
Kentucky settlements. On the 4th of July two hundred of 
them appeared before Boonesborough and commenced one 
of the most memorable sieges in the annals of border war- 
fare. It continued till September, although relieved by a 
reinforcement of forty riflemen from Holston. During the 
siege an Indian was killed, and upon his body was found a 
proclamation by Henry Hamilton, British Lieutenant-Go- 
vernor and Commandant at Detroit, in which he offered pro- 
tection to such of the inhabitants as would abandon the cause 
of the revolted colonies, but denounced vengeance against 
those who should adhere to them. Captain Logan, with a 
select party of woodsmen, left the fort by night and set out 
for Holston to procure further supplies and reinforcements. 
With a sack of parched corn for their fare, Logan's party, 
travelling by night, on foot, by unfrequented ways, and con- 
cealing themselves in secluded vallies by day, eventually 

* Haywood. 


succeeded in making the journey of two hundred miles, 
appealed to the patriotism of the pioneers of Tennessee, and 
retnmed to the relief of the beleaguered forts with supplies 
and one hundred riflemen.* 

During this summer two of the spies that were kept out in 
WB i advance of the settlements, viz, Henry Reynolds and 
( Thomas Morgan, discovered the Warm Springs on 
French Broad. They had pursued some stolen horses to the 
point opposite, and leaving their own horses on the north 
bank, waded across the river. As they reached the southern 
shore they passed through a little branch, the tepid water of 
which attracted their attention. The next year the Warm 
Springs were resorted to by invalids. 

The frontier people had been so far relieved from appre- 
hension of Indian hostility, as to dispense during the summer 
of this year, with a portion of the guards heretofore main- 
tained for their protection. These were disbanded and re- 
turned to the quiet pursuits of planting and working their 
crops. They were lulled into a false security and had neg- 
lected to take the usual measures of protection and defence, 
which the exposed condition of the border settlements de- 
manded. This relaxation of their ordinary watchfulness and 
care, invited aggression and a renewal of the outrages and 
massacres which had been before experienced. The settle- 
ments being thus thrown off their guard, a portion of the 
militia discharged and little or no regular armed force being 
at hand, another source of annoyance and injury presented 
itself. The tories from the disaffected counties of North- 
Carolina and other states, had come in great numbers to the 
frontier, and there combining with thieves and robbers, 
prowled around the feebler neighbourhoods, and for a time 
committed depredation and murder with impunity. Their 
number was considerable, and they boasted that they were 
able to look do>yn all opposition and to defy all restraint. 

In this emergency we have again to mention another in- 
stance of self-reliance, so characteristic of the pioneer people. 
A combination of lawless men had been formed, formidable 
alike for their number and for their desperate character. The 

* Monette. 


laws could not reach ; them they escaped equally detection 
and pnnishment. 

The law-abiding and honest people of the country took the 
affair into their own hands, appointed a committee, invested 
it with unlimited power, and authorized it to adopt any mea- 
sure necessary to arrest the growing evil. The names of this 
committee of safety are not given, but it is known that under 
its direction and authority two companies of dragoons, num- 
bering about thirty each, were immediately organized and 
equipped, and were directed to patrol the whole country, 
capture and punish with death all suspected persons, who 
refused submission or failed to give good security for their 
appearance before the committee. Slighter offences were 
atoned for by the infliction of corporeal punishment ; to this 
was superadded, in cases where the offender was able to pay 
it, a heavy fine in money. Leaders in crime expiated their 
guilt by their lives. Several of these were shot ; some of 
them at their execution disclosed the names and hiding places 
of their accomplices. These were in their turn pursued, 
arrested and punished, and the country was in less than two 
months restored to a condition of safety, and the disturbers of 
its quiet preserved their lives only by secrecy or flight. 

Isam Yearley, a loyalist on Nollichucky, was driven out of 
the country by a company of whigs, of which Captain Wm. 
Bean, Isaac Lane, Sevier and Robertson, were members. 
The same company afterwards pursued a party of tories, 
who under the lead of Mr. Grimes, on Watauga, had killed 
Millican, a whig, and attempted to kill Mr. Roddy and Mr. 
Grubbs. The latter they had taken to a high pinnacle on 
the edge of the river, and threatened to throw him off. He 
was respited under a promise that they should have all his 
property. These tories were concealed high up Watauga in 
the mountain, but Captain Bean and his whig comrades fer- 
retted them out, flred upon and wounded their leader, and 
forced them to escape across the mountain. Capt. Grimes 
was hung after King's Mountain battle, in which he was 
taken prisoner.* 

* Othen of Bean's company were Joseph Duncan, John Condley, Thomas Hardi- 
man, Wm. Stone, Michael Massingale, John and George Bean, Edmond Bean, 
AqnOla and laiac I^me, James Roddy, and Samuel and Robert Tate. 



The occasion for this summary mode of preserving order 
and promoting the welfare of the people^ having thus been 
removed* the committee laid down its functions and ceased to 
exist It had accomplished the purposes for which it had 
been created, and the extraordinary powers with which the 
sovereign people had invested it, were surrendered, and jus- 
tice was again administered through the regular channels* 

The exercise of these rigorous and sanguinary measures 
may be» at this day, viewed by some with a degree of disap- 
probation and regret This feeling* however, will be quali- 
fied by a recollection of the peculiar condition of the new 
community in tirhich they transpired, and the circumstances 
:of the general country at the period of their adoption. 
Wicked and unprincipled men had chosen to commit their 
ontrages and depredations upon infant settlements* feeble* 
immature and just germinating into political life. They 
Jbad selected, too, a period for perpetrating their crimesi when 
the whole energies of their patriotic countrymen across the 
mountain were called into requisition in support of the con- 
flict for Independence ; and it is a proud reflection* that in 
these times of trial and embarrassment, patriotism* enlarged 
and lofty, was the sentiment of the pioneers of Tennessee. 
Their courage never quailed, and their energies never 
faltered amid the gloom that enveloped their Atlantic coun- 
trymen. Under these difficulties at home^ under such dis- 
couragements abroad, did the patriots of Nollichucky and 
Watauga discharge their high duties to themselves and to i 
their bleeding country. The tories were hunted up and pun- 
ished or driveiR from amongst them, while the refugee whigs 
were cordially welcomed, and found shelter and protection 
in these distant retneats. 

The energetic conduct of the people and the patriotic impul- 
ses that engendered it, received also the cordial sanction and 
concurrence of the legal tribunals of the country. In some 
instances the action of the county courts may have assumed 
or encroached upon the legislative prerogative. Some ex* 
tracts from the Journals of the first courts held in the country, 
may not be uninteresting to the curious* and are here pre- 


"Washington Cottnty, Feb. 23. — Coubt Journals. — At a oonrt 
befl^nn and held for the county of Washington, Feb. 23, 1778, Presenti 
John Carter, Chairman, John Sevier, Jacob Womack, Robert Lucas, 
Andrew Greer, John Shelby, George Russell, Wm. Been, 2^hariah Isbell, 
John McNabb, Thomas Houghton, William Clark, John McMahan, Ben- 
jamin Gist, John Chisholm, Joseph Willson, Wm. Cobb, James Stuart, 
Michael Woods, Richard White, Benjamin Willson, James Robertson 
and Valentine Sevier, Esqs. On Tuesday, next day, John Sevier was 
chosen Clerk of the county; Valentine Sevier, Sheriff; James Stuart, 
Surveyor; John Carter, Entry-Taker ; John McMahan, Register, ; Jaoob 
Womack, Stray-Master and John McNabb, Coroner. 

" Wm. Cocke, by W. Avery, moved to be admitted Clerk of WAhing- 
ton county, which motion was rejected by the Court, knowing that John 
Sevier is entitled to the office. 

" Thb State vs. , ) It is the opinion of the court that the 

In Teansic. f defendant be imprisoned during the pre- 

sent war with Great Britain, and the Sheriff take the whole of his estate 
into custody, which must be valued by a jury at the next court— one 
Iialf of said estate to be kept by said Sheriff for the use of the State, and the 
other half to be remitted to the family of defendant'* 

The court thus exhibited a marked instance of judgment and 
mercy in the same Order — combining patriotism with justice 
and humanity. 

At term of Washington Countv Court, " On motion of K Dun- 
lap, State Attorney, that J. H., for his ill practices in harbouring and 
abetting disorderly persons who are prejudicial and Inimical to the Com- 
mon Cause of Liberty, and frequently disturbing our Tranquility in 
Genera], Be imprisoned for the term and time of one year. 
. ** The Court duly considering the allegations Alledged and objected 
against the said J. H., are of opinion that for his disorderly practices as 
imiresaid, from time to time, and to prevent the further and future prac- 
tioe <^ the same pernicious nature, do order him to be imprisoned for the 
term of one year, <fe Is, accordingly, ordered into the custody of the 
Sheriffi" * m 

The jurisdiction of the court seems to have extended not 

only to the persons of political offenders but to their property 

alsOy whether in possession or expectancy. We extract again 

from the minutes : 

^ On motion of £. Dunlap, Esq., that a sum of money of fifteen hun- 
dred pounds, current money due from R. C. to said J. H. for two negroes, 
be ret«ned in the hands of said C, as there is sufficient reason to believe 
that the said H.'8 estate will be confiscated to the use of the State for his 
nnsdemeanorB, Ac. 

* Journal of Waahington County Court. 

183 • rnurr cheuttian uaunuMB. 


^Tfae Court ooiunderiiig the case, are of opmion that the said monies 
oi^t to be retained. 

*^ On motion that CommMonen ought to be app<nnted to iik» into 
poasession such property as shall be confiscated, Jbe. 

** The Court on taking the sanae under consideration, do Nominate and 
Appoint John Seyier, Jesse Walton and Zachariah Isbell, Esqs., for the 
ameaaid purpose." 

Amidst these scenes of civil disorder and violence, the chris- 

vm \ ^^^^ ministry began to shed its benign influence. Ti*- 

( dence Lane, a Baptist preacher, organized a congregar 

tion this year. A house for public worship was erected on Buf- 

fklo Ridge. About the same time. Rev. Samuel Doak was 

.preaching through Washington and Sullivan counties. 

The second term of the Washington County Court was held 
May 25, 1778^ at the house of Charles Robertson. Ephraim 
Dunlap was admitted as Attorney: Valentine Sevier was 
appointed Sheriff*; John Sevier, Jesse Walton and Zachariah 
Isbell, entered into bond for faithful performance of duties 
as Commissioners of Confiscated Estates ; Spruce McCay was 
admitted as Attorney. 

The first settlers in the Greasy Cove were Webb, Martin 
and Judd. ' The large bottoms on the NoUichucky were then 
dense masses of cane. Webb discovered, in a cane-brake^ 
a company of Indians. They followed him to his house, and 
intimated to him that they would not permit him to stay 
there unmolested. He returned to Virginia and brought 
back to his settlement additional emigrants, and they were 
allowed to form a considerable neighbourhood without 
molestation ;^t higher up, above this, on Indian Creek, Mr. 
Wm. Lewis, ^^ wife and seven children, were killed by the 
Indians, and his house was burned. One of the sons escaped, 
and a daughter was taken prisoner and was afterwards ran- 
somed for a gun. The Indians were pursued by a company 
of troops commanded by Nathaniel Taylor, but were not 
overtaken till they, crossing French Broad river, reached the 
inaccessible retreats beyond it. 

To counteract the intrigues of the British agents, and the 
wicked influence of disafl!*ected Americans who had taken 
refuge in the Cherokee nation, a Superintendent of Indian 



Affairs was directed by Gov. Caswell to repair to their towns 
and reside among them. Captain Robertson was selected 
for that station. He carried, from the governor, a talk for 
the Raven of Chota,%> be delivered to that chieftain and 
his nation by the hands of the agent and Col. McDowell. 
By this embassy the governor acknowledged the receipt of 
a peace talk from Savanuca, and gave assurances that he 
was pleased with it and desired further correspondence 
with him, and promised to use every effort for the preserva- 
tion of peace and to inj9ict adequate punishment on all who 
should violate it. He further added that, if any of the 
Indians were kept in captivity by the whites, they should be 
restored. But these conciliatory measures were misunder- 
stood by the deluded savages. Savanuca and some of the 
more aged chiefs were disposed to peace, but were unable 
to repress the warlike attitude of the Dragging-Canoe and 
his hostile tribe, the Chickamaugas. This tribe of the 
Cherokees, at first, occupied the borders of Chickamauga 
Creek, but afterwards extended their villages fifty miles 
below, on both sides of the Tennessee. 

The passage of this river through the several ranges of 
the Cumberland Mountains, forms one of the most remark- 
able features in American topography. It is unique, roman- 
tic and picturesque — presenting views at once variegated, 
grand, sublime and awful. At the Great Look Out or Chatta- 
nooga Mountain, commences a series of rapids, where, in its tor- 
tuoas windings along the base of several mountain ranges, the 
Tennessee River, contracted into a narrow channeU hemmed 
in by projecting cliffs and towering precipices of solid stone, 
dashes with tumultuous violence from shore to shore, crea- 
ting, in its rapid descent over immense boulders and masses 
of rock, a succession of cataracts and vortices. Beautiful 
and interesting in the extreme to the beholder, these rapids 
constitute a formidable obstacle to navigation, which, even 
yet, is not entirely overcome by the agency of steam. Che- 
rokee tradition is prolific of accident and disaster to the 
navigation of the aborigines. It is fabled that a fleet of 
IndiiEtn canoes, rowed by Uchee warriors, and destined for 
an invasion of the Shawnees, at the mouth of the Ohio, was 



engnlphed in the Whirlpool, now known as the Sack. Civi- 
lization, skill and experience have diminished these obstacles 
to commerce and navigation, bat three quarters of a century 
since it was an achievenient of no ordinary kind to pass 
tiurough them, though at high tide. Even now, the voyageur 
must be fearless and vigilant. 

If the channel of the river presented dangerous physical 
impediments, its environs held those of another character, not 
less formidable. Along those foaming rapids and on either 
side of the river, the shores are wild, elevated and bold, in 
some places, scarcely leaving room for a path separating the 
stream from the adjacent mountain, with here and there a 
cove running back from the river into the heights which sur- 
round and frown down upon it, in sombre solitude and 
gloomy silence. In these mountain gorges were fastnesses, 
dark, forbidding and inaccessible. Their very aspect invited 
to deeds of violence, murder and crime. No human eye 
could witness, no vigilance detect, no power punish, no force 
avenge them. A retreat into these dreary seclusions, stimu- 
lated to aggression, as they furnished a perfect immunity from 
pursuit and punishment. 


One of the secret resorts of the free-booters who infested 
this region, was an immense cavern still known as the Nic- 
a-jack Cave. It is situated in the side, or end rather, of Cum- 
berland Mountain, at a point near the present depot of the 
Nashville and Chattanooga Rail Road, and about thirty-six 
miles below Chattanooga. Its main entrance is on the Ten- 
nessee River. The cave has been thus described by an- 
other : '' At its mouth it is about thirty yards wide, arched 
over head with pure granite,Hhis being in the centre about fif- 
teen feet high. A beautiful little river, clear as crystal, issues 
from its mouth. The distance the cave extends into the moun- 
tains has not been ascertained. It has been explored only four 
or five miles. At the mouth the river is wide and shallow, but 
narrower than the cave. As you proceed further up the 
stream the cave becomes gradually narrower, until it is con- 
tracted to the exact width of the river. It is beyond this 


point explored only by water in a small canoe.'* The abo- 
riginal name of this cavern was Te-calla-see. 

Into this vast cavern, for the purposes of concealment and 
murder, the banditti of the " Narrows" retired with their spoils 
and their victims. The place now enlivened and enriched 
by the genius of Fulton, and in view of the Steamer and Loco- 
motive, was then the dismal and gloomy retreat of savage 
cruelty and barbarian guilt. 

These impregnable fortresses of nature were as yet un- 
occupied by the sons of the forest. The hunter avoided atid 
was deterred from entering them. The Indian, in his canoe, 
glided swiftly by them, as if apprehending that the evil ge- 
nius of the place was there to engulph and destroy him. It 
remained for American enterprise to see and overcome them. 

About 1773 or 1774, some families in West Virginia and 
North-Carolina, attracted by the glowing accounts of West 
Florida, sought a settlement in that province. They came 
to the Holston frontier, built their boats, and following the 
stream, reached Natchez by water. Necessity drove them 
to employ Indians and Indiah traders, as pilots through the 
dangerous passes of the Tennessee River. Occasionally a 
boat was either by accident or design shipwrecked, at some 
point between the Chickamauga Towns and the lower end 
of the Muscle Shoals. Its crew became easy victims of 
savage cruelty — its cargo fell a prey to Indian cupidity. As 
these voyages increased, and the emigrants by water multi- 
plied from year to year, so did the Indian settlements all 
along the rapids, also extend. The Chickamaugas were the 
first to settle there, and to become depredators upon the lives 
and property of emigrants. Conscious of guilt, unwilling to 
withhold their warriors from robbery and murder, they failed 
to attend with the rest of their tribe at treaties of peace, and 
refused to observe treaty stipulations when entered into by 
their nation. They broke up their old towns on and near 
Chickamauga, removed lower down on the river, and laid 
the foundation of several new villages, afterwards known as 
the Five Lower Towns — Running Water, Nicajack, Long 
bland Villages, Crow Town, and Look Out, which soon be- 
came populous, and the most formidable part of the Cherokee 

186 Qou pvAH SBXLBT'i u;nu>moK. 

nation. They were situated near the Great CrosBing on 
Tennessee, where the hunting and war parties, in their ex- 
oursions from the south to the north, always crossed that 
8l;ream. To this point congregated, with fearful rapidity, 
the worst men in all the Indian tribes. Murderers, thieves, 
pirates, banditti, not of every Indian tribe only, but depraved 
white men, rendered desperate by crime, hardened by out- 
lawry and remorseless from conscious guilt, fled hither and 
confederated with barbarian aborigines in a common as- 
sault upon humanity and justice, and in defiance of all laws 
of earth and heaven. These miscreants constituted for a 
number of years the Barbary Powers of the West — the Al- 
giers of the American interior. 

They had become veiy numerous, composing a banditti of 
more than one thousand warriors. These had refused the 
terms of peace proposed by Christian, and had perpetrated 
the greatest outrages upon the whole frontier. The Chioka- 
mauga Towns were the central points from which their de- 
tachments were sent out for murder and plunder, and where 
guns^ and ammunition, and other supplies, were received 
from their allies in Florida. It was determined to invade 
and destroy these towns. North-Carolina and Virginia, in 
ooi^junction, ordered a strong expedition against them, under 
the command of Colonel Evan Shelby. It consisted of one 
thousand volunteers from the western settlements of these 
two states, and a regiment of twelve months' men under the 
\ command of Col. John Montgomery.* At this period 
( the two governments were much straightened in their 
resources on account of the existing war of the Revolution, 
and were unable to make any advances for supplies or trans- 

* When General George Rogers Clarke^ in 1778» was planning his celebrated 
expedition to Kaskaskias^ Vincennes, etc., in the Illinois eountry, Major W. B. 
Smith was despatched to the Holston settlements to recmit men for that serfioe. It 
was desired by the government of Virginia that the .troops shoold be raised west of 
the Bloe Ridge, so at not to weaken the Atlantic defence. Smith raised four com- 
panies on Holston. Montgomery's regiment was intended as a reinforcement to 
Clarke, and was temporarily diverted from that object, and opportunely was at 
hand to assist in the reduction of the Chickamaugas. Montgomery had recently 
letnmed from Richmond, whither he had gone in charge of M. Rocheblave, the 
commaodant of Kaaknskias. 


portation necessary for this campaign. All these were pro- 
cured by the indefatigable and patriotic exertions, and on the 
individaal responsibility, of Isaac Shelby.* 

The army rendezvoused at the mouth of Big Creek, a few 
miles above where Rogersville, in Hawkins county, now 
stands. Perogues and canoes were immediately made from 
the adjacent forest, and, on the 10th of April, the troops em- 
barked and descended the Holston. So rapid was the descent 
of this first naval armament down the river, as to take the 
enemy completely by surprise. They fled in all directions to 
the hills and mountains, without giving battle. Shelby pur- 
sued and hunted them in the woods — killed upwards of forty 
of their warriors, burnt down their towns, destroyed their 
com and every article of provision, and drove away their 
great flocks of cattle.t 

In this sudden invasion Col. Shelby destroyed eleven of 
their towns, besides twenty thousand bushels of corn. He 
also captured a supply of stores and goods valued at £20,000, 
which had been provided by his majesty^s agents for distri- 
bution, at a general Council of the Northern and Southern 
Indians, that had been called by Governor Hamilton, of De- 
troit, to assemble at the mouth of Tennessee.;]: 

Shelby's chickamauga expedition. 

Evan Shelby commanded 350 and Col. Montgomery 150 
men, on the Chickamauga expedition. Their pilot was named 
Hudson. The boats turned up the Chickamauga Creek ; 
near the mouth of a branch an Indian was taken prisoner. 
With him as their guide, the troops waded out through an inun- 
dated cane-break, and entered Chickamauga, a town nearly 
one mile long; Dragging Canoe and Big Fool were its 
chiefs. The Indians, five hundred in number, astonished at 
the sudden invasion of their towns by an armament by 
water, made no resistance and fled into the mountains. The 
town was burned. John McCrosky, late of Sevier county, 
took a party and followed the flying Indians across the river, 
and dispersed a camp of them which he found on Lauiel 

* Haywood. tidem. IMonette. 

188 TiooffB wtmuf iloKTH OF TBI ums. 

Creek. Another party took Little OwPs Town, and others 
were in like manner taken and burnt Besides the other 
8p<^8, Shelby took 150 horses, 100 eattle and great quanti- 
ties of deer skins, owned in part by a trader named McDonald. 
These were all sold at vendue. Isaac and all the other sons 
of Gol. Evan Shelby, were out on this campaign. 

This service performed, the troops destroyed or sunk their 
little vessels and the supply of provisions that was in them» 
and returned home on foot In their march they suffered 
much for the want of provisions, which could be procured 
only by hunting and killing game. They returned on the 
north side of the Tennessee, passed by the place since known 
as the Pos^Oak-Springs, crossed Emery and Clinch a little 
above their confluence, and Holston some miles above its 
junction with. French Broad. These were the first troops 
that had seen the richest lands of the present Hamilton, 
Rhea, Roane, Knox, and the north part of Jefferson counties, 
and seen as they were in all the beauty and verdure of May, 
it is not strange that a new and increasing current of emi* 
gration was at once turned to this beautiful and inviting 

About the time of the expedition of Shelby to Chicka- 
mauga, Gov. Hamilton was attempting to form a grand co- 
alition between all the northern and southern Indians, to be 
aided by British regulars, who were to advance and assist them 
in driving all the settlers from the Western waters. In the 
prosecution of this object be bad advanced from Detriot and 
re-captured Vincennes, and contemplated an expedition 
against Kaskaskias, where he expected to be joined by five 
hundred Cherokees and Chickasaws. Shelby had destroyed 
the towns and killed the warriors of his allies at Chicka* 
mauga, and the coalition of the southern and northern Indians 
was thus entirely prevented. 

Col. Evan Shelby, the commander of this expedition, has 
been elsewhere mentioned, as an officer at the Kenhawa 
battle. He had been before in the military service of Vir- 
ginia, as a captain of rangers under Braddock, and led 
the advance under General Forbes when f^ort DuQuesne 
was taken by that ofiicer. After the successful expedition to 


Chickamaugay Col. Evan Shelby was appointed by Yirginiay 
a general of her militia. 

At the close of a useful life he died, and was buried npar 
King's Meadow, in Sullivan county. 

The Legislature of North-Carolina, this year, laid off and 
1779 i established Jonesborough as the seat of justice for 
C Washington county. John Wood, Jesse Walton, George 
Russell, James Stewart and Benjamin Clerk, were appointed 
commissioners to lay out and direct its buildings. This was 
the first town in what is now Tennessee. Jonesboro' was so 
called after Willie Jones, Esq., of Halifax, N. C, a friend to 
the growth and prosperity of the western counties. He 
was an active patriot and statesman in the days of thfe 
Beyolution, as well as before and after. He was an intelU- 
genty useful and honest legislator, exercising great c&ndour 
and independence.* 

Commissioners were appointed this year to run the boun- 
dary between Virginia and North-Carolina. This was. the 
more necessary, as lands near the line had not been entered 
in the proper offices, and many of the settlers did not know 
to what jurisdiction, civil or military, they belonged. At 
the October sessions of the North-Carolina Legislature, a 
new county was laid off. It was called, in honour of a 
general then commanding in the army of the United States, 

Sullivan county Records show that in February, 1780, 
the county court met at the house of Moses Looney. A 
commission was presented, appointing as Justices of the 
Peace Isaac Shelby, David Looney, William Christie, (Chris- 
tian T) John Dunham, William Wallace, and Samuel Smith; 
John Rhea was appointed Clerk ; Nathaniel Clark, Sheriff 
till court in course. 

Isaac Shelby exhibited his commission from Gov. Caswell, 
dated Nov. 19, 1779, appointing him Colonel Commandant 
of the county ; D. Looney, one of same date, appointing 
him Major. Ephraim Dunlap was appointed State Attorney, 
and Jphn Adair, Entry-Taker. 

The next court was to be held at the house of James Hollis. 

* Konnt pftpm. 

190 ATTACK Off WMIiflTOll'fl HOUn. 

Anthony Bledsoe had lived, in 1769, at Fort Chisel, and, 
in a short time after, with his brother Isaae and the Shelbys, 
removed further west, into what is now.SuIlt^an connty. 
His station was not far from Long Island. He was in the 
battle of the Flats. 

After the repulse of Sir Peter Parker from Charleston, the 
Southern States had a short respite from British attack and 
invasion. The conquest of the states was thereafter at- 
tempted from north to south. But that order was, from this 
IY79 ( time, inverted, and his migesty's arms were directed 
'( against the most isK>uthem of the states. On the 29th 
Dec, 1778, Savannah, the capital of Georgia, was taken, and 
0oon after British posts were established as far into the interior 
aa Augusta. General Lincoln, who commanded the southern 
department, sent a detachment of fifteen hundred North- 
Carolina militia, under command of Gen. Ashe, to oblige the 
teeoiy to evacuate the upper part of Georgia. The detach- 
ment was surprised by Geiieral Provost and entirely defeated. 
By this victory of the British, their conmiunication witfi their 
friends, the tories, in the back country, and with their allies 
the Cherokees, across the mountains, was restored. The 
effect of this was soon felt upon the frontier. 

Frequent conferences were held with the Cherokees to 
induce them to farther outbreaks upon the western settle- 
ments. The Indians invaded the country soon after and 
attacked Boilston's house, on the frontier, with the loss on 
the part of the assailants of four warriors killed and a num- 
ber wounded. Daring the attack, Williams and Hardin were 
killed. The enemy was driven off*. They were pursued by 
George Doberty, Joseph Boyd and others, but escaped. 

Other mischief was attempted, but the scouts and light- 
horse companies guarded the frontier so vigilantly, that little 
iigury was sustained by the settlers. The apprehension of 
danger kept up the military organization of the new country, 
made the inhabitants familiar with the duties of camp life, 
inured them to toil and exposure, deprivation and endurance, 
and kindled into a flame that martial spirit, which in the 
course of the next year they were called upon to exhibit with 
such advantage to the country and such honour to themselves. 


Stopping the order of current events, we return to the 
( further exploration and settlement of that part of Ten- 
( nessee west of the Cumberland Mountain. By the 
treaty of Watauga, in March 1775, the Cherokees had ceded 
to Richard Henderson & Company all the lands lying between 
the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers. Although that treaty 
had been repudiated by the proclamations of Lord Dunmore 
and Governor Martin, and settlements upon the ceded terri- 
tory had been inhibited, the Company, regardless of conse- 
quences, proceeded to take possession of their illegal purchase* 
The spirit of emigration from Virginia and North-Carolina 
was aroused, and pioneers were anxious to lead the way in 
effecting settlements. 

Boon and Floyd and Callaway opened the way, and Benja- 
min Logan, who resided some time on Holston, soon followed ; 
and with a host of other valiant and enterprising men erected 
fortSy built stations, repelled, with unsurpassed heroism and 
self-sacrifice, hostile invasion, and contemporaneously with 
the pioneers of Tennessee laid the foundations of society and 
government in Kentucky. 

A portion of Henderson's purchase on the Lower Cumber- 
land, was within the supposed boundary of North-Carolina* 
It was at first reached through the old route by the way of 
Cumberland Gap, and explorers continued to pass through 
it on their way to what is now called Middle Tennessee. 
Amongst others, Mansco * renewed his visit in Nov., 1775, 
and came to Cumberland River, in company with other hunt- 
ers of the name of Bryant. They encamped at Mansco's Lick. 
Most of them became dissatisfied with the country, and re- 
turned home. Mansco and three others remained and com- 
menced trapping on Sulphur Fork and Red River. 

But finding themselves in the neighbourhood of a party of 
Blackfish Indians, they deemed it essential to their own safety 
to ascertain where they were encamped and what was their 
number. Mansco was selected to make the discovery. He 
came cautiously upon their camp on the river, and standing 
behind a tree was endeavouring to count them. He could see 
but two, and supposed the rest were out of camp, hunting. 

* Condenied or eopied from Hajwood. 


At the moment when he was about to retire, one of the In- 
dians took up a tomahawk, crossed the stream and went upon 
the other side. The other took up his gun, put it upon his 
BhQulder, and came directly towards the place where Mansco 
stood. He hoped the advancing Indian would go some other 
way, but he continued to come in a straight line towards the 
spot where he lay concealed^ and had come within fifteen 
steps of him. There being no alternative but to shoot him 
Mansco cocked and presented his gun, and aiming at the most 
vital part, pulled trigger, and fired. The Indian scream- 
ed, threw down his gun and made for the camp ; but he passed 
it and pitched headlong down the blufi* dead, into the river. 
The other Indian ran back to the camp, but Mansco outran 
him, and picking up an old gun tried to shoot, but he could 
not get it to fire, and^e Indian escaped. Mansco broke the 
old gun and returned in haste to his comrades. The next 
day they all came to the Indian camp, found the dead warrior, 
took away his tomahawk, knife and shot-bag, but could no^ 
find his gun. The other Indian had returned, loaded his 
horses with his furs, and was gone. They pursued him all that 
day and all night, with torches of dry cane, but could not 
overtake him. Returning to Mansco's Lick^ they soon after 
began their journey towards the settlements on New-River, 
but were detained four weeks by snow, which was waist- 
deep. After that melted, they resumed their journey and 
arrived safe at home. 

Thomas Sharp, Spencer and others, allured by the fiatter- 
ing accounts they had received of the fertility of the soil, 
and of the abundance of game which the country afforded, 
determined to visit it. They came, in the year 1776, to 
Cumberland River, and built a number of cabins. Most of 
them returned, leaving Spencer and Holliday, who remained 
in the country till 1779. 

Captain De Mumbrune who, as late as 1823, lived in 
Nashville, hunted in that country as early as 1775. He was 
a native of France. He fixed his residence, during the sum- 
mer, at the plajse since known as Eaton's Station. He saw 
no Indians, during that season, in the country, but immense 
numbers of buffalo and other game. In February, 1777, he 


arrived^ after a trip to New-Orleans, at Deacon's Pond, near 
where Palmyra now stands, and found there six white men 
and one white woman, who, in coming to the country, had 
taken water where Rockcastle River disembogues into the 
Cumberland, and descended it, hunting occasionally upon its 
banks. In their excursions they had seen no Indians, but 
immense herds of buffaloes. One of their companions, Wil- 
liam Bowen, had been overran by a gang of these animals, 
and died from the bruises he received. John Duncan and 
James Ferguson were of this .company. They afterwards 
went down the river, and were cut off at Natchez, in 1779. 

A settlement of less than a dozen families was formed 
) near Bledsoe's Lick, isolated in the heart of the 
) Chickasaw nation, with no other protection than their 
own courage, and a small stockade inclosure.*' 

About the same time, a number of French traders ad- 
vanced up the Cumberland River, as far as ^'the Bluff,'' 
where they erected a trading post and a few log cabins, 
with the approbation of the Chickasaws.f 

The Lower Cumberland continued to be visited and ex- 
plored farther. Richard Hogan, Spencer, HoUiday and 
others, came this year from Kentucky in search of good 
landfl, and with the intention of securing some for themselves 
as permanent settlements, they planted a small field of corn 
in the spring of 1778. This first plantation, in Middle Ten- 
nessee, was near Bledsoe's Lick. A large hollow tree stood 
near the Lick* In this Spencer lived. He was pleased with 
the prospects for further settlement which the situation af- 
forded, and could not be induced to relinquish them and re- 
turn home, as HoUiday in vain persuaded him to do. The 
former, however, determined to leave the wilderness, but 
having lost his knife, was unwilling to undertake bis long 
travel without one with which to skin his venison and cut 
his meat. With back-woods generosity and kindness, Spen- 
oer accompanied his comrade to the Barrens of Kentucky, 
put him on the right path, broke bis knife and gave him half 
of it, and returned to his hollow tree at the Lick, where he 
passed the winter. Spencer was a man of gigantic stature, 

* flint. f Martin's Louisiana. 


194 CAPT. Robertson's first colony at french lick. 

and passing one morning the temporary cabin erected at a 
place since called Eaton's Station, and occupied by one of 
Captain DeM umbrune's hunters, his huge tracks were left 
plainly impressed in the rich alluvial. These were seen by 
the hunter on his return to the camp, who, alarmed at their 
size, immediately swam across the river, and wandered 
through the woods until he reached the French settlements 
on the Wabash. 

Nearly ten years had now elapsed since the germ of a 
17M i civilized community had been planted in Upper East 
I Tennessee. No settlement had yet been permanently 
fixed on the Lower Cumberland. A hunter's camp, and the 
lonely habitation of Spencer, were all that relieved the soli- 
tude or lightened the gloom of that western wilderness. 
But the cheerlessness of barbarian night was about to be 
dissipated by the dawn of civilization and improvement. In 
the early spring of 1779, a little colony of gallant adventu* 
rers, from the parent hive at Watauga, crossed the Cumber- 
land Mountain, penetrated the intervening wilds, and pitched 
their tents near the French Lick, and planted a field of com 
where the city of Nashville now stands. This field was at 
the spot where Joseph Park since resided, and near the lower 
ferry. These pioneers were Captain James Robertson, George 
Freeland, William Neely, Edward Swanson, James Hanly, 
Mark Robertson, Zachariah White, and William Overhall. 
A negro fellow also accompanied them. To their number 
was added, immediately after their arrival at the Lick, a 
number of others conducted by Mansco, who had ten years 
before visited, and explored, and hunted in the country. 
These emigrants also planted corn preparatory to the remo- 
val of their fam^ilies in the succeeding autumn. Captain 
Robertson, during the summer, went to the Illinois to pur- 
chase the cabin rights from General Clarke. After the crop 
was made, Overhall, White and Swanson, were left to keep 
the bufialoes out of the unenclosed fields of corn, while the 
rest of the party returned for their families. 

Mansco, Frazier, and other early hunters and explorers, 
upon their previous return to the older settlements, had diflused 
an account of the fertility of the Cumberland lands, the 

bobsrtson's second colony. 105 

abundance of game and the salabrity of the climate. This 
account was now confirmed and extended, by the experi- 
ment that had been made by the parties under Robertson 
and Mansco, in planting and raisigg a crop. Cumberland 
became the theme of eager conversation in every neighbour- 
hoody and great numbers prepared to emigrate to this land 
of Aiture plenty and of promise. Under the lead of Mansco» 
several families removed and settled at Mansco's Lick, Bled- 
soe^s Lick, and other places. John Rains and others, in Oc- 
tober of this year, leaving New River, on their way to Ken- 
tucky, were persuaded by Captain Robertson to accompany 
him to the French Lick. Assenting to this proposal, they 
were soon joined by several other companies of emigrants — 
the whole amounting to two or three hundred, many of them 
young men without families — some of them took out cattle 
and othw domestic animals. The route pursued was by 
Cumberland Gap, and the Kentuc\cy trace to Whitley's Sta- 
tion, on Dick's River ; thence to Carpenter's Station, on the 
waters of Green River ; thence to Robertson's Fork, on the 
north side of that stream ; thence down the river to Pit- 
man's Station ; thence crossing and descending that river to 
Little Barren, crossing it at the Elk Lick ; thence passing 
the Blue Spring and the Dripping Spring to Big Barren ; 
theaee up Drake's Creek to a bituminous spring ; thence to 
the Maple Swamp ; thence to Red River, at Kilgore's Sta- 
tion; thence to Mansco's Creek; and from there to the 
French Lick. 

The inclemency of the season, the great number of the 
emigrants, the delay inseparable from travelling over a new 
route, part of it mountainous, all of it through a wilderness, 
without roads, bridges or ferries, prevented the arrival of the 
Cumberland colonists at their point of destination till the 
beginning of the year 1780. The winter had been intensely 
cold, and has always been remembered and referred to as 
the cold winter by all countries in the northern hemisphere, 
between the thirty-fifth and seventieth degrees of latitude, 
and is decisive of the chronology that fixes the arrival of these 
emigrants in seventeen hundred and eighty.* The Cumber- 

♦ Haywood. 


1780 \ ^^^^ ^^^ found frozen over. Snow had fallen early 
( in November, and it continued to freeze for many 
weeks after the emigrants reached the bluff. Some of 
them settled on the nort^ side of the river, at Eaton's Station, 
-where Page afterwards resided. These annals would be im- 
perfect without their names. Some of them are given from 
Haywood. They are Frederick Stump, Senr., Amos Eaton, 
Hayden Wells, Isaac Roundsever, William Loggins, and — 
Winters. The names of others are not recollected. Here 
they built cabins, cleared ground and planted corn. The 
cabins were built with stockades from one to the other, with 
port holes and bastions. But most of the company crossed 
immediately after their arrival, over the river upon the ice» 
and settled at the Bluff where Nashville now stands. They 
were admonished by the existing condition of things in Ken- 
tucky on one side, and the hostilities many of them had wit- 
nessed from the Cherokees on the other, that their settlement 
could not long escape the aggression of the savages around 
them. They prudently erected block-houses in lines— -the 
intervals between which were stockaded — two lines were 
built parallel to each other, and so were other two lines, the 
whole forming a square within. Freeland's Station, where 
McGavock since resided, was at this time also erected. Here 
were also block-houses and stockades. Mr. Rains settled 
the place since known as Deaderick's plantation. Among 
the emigrants that built their cabins at the bluff, were some 
from South-Carolina. These were John Buchanan, Alexan- 
der Buchanan, Daniel Williams, John Mulherrin, James 
Mulherrin, Sampson Williams, Thomas Thompson, besides 
others whose names are not given. 
While Robertson and his co-emigrants were thus reaching 
( Cumberland by the circuitous and dangerous trace 
( through the wilderness of Kentucky, others of their 
countrymen were undergoing greater hardships, enduring 
greater sufferings, and experiencing greater privations upon 
another route, not less circuitous and far more perilous, in 
aiming at the same destination. Soon after the former had 
left the Holston settlements, on their march by land, several 


boats loaded with emigrants and their property left Fort 
Patrick Henry, near Long Island, on a voyage down the 
Holston and Tennessee, and up the Ohio and Cumberland. 
The journal of one of them, ** The Adventure," has been 
preserved.* It was kept by Col. John Donelson, the projec- 
tor of the enterprise. His grandson. Captain Stockley Do- 
nelson, who resides near **the Hermitage," in Davidson 
county, has the original journal still in possession. The de- 
tails of so new and remarkable an adventure by water, are 
full of interest, and the journal is, therefore, given entire. 

Journal of a votaqe, inteoded by God^s permission, in tho good 
boat Adventure, fix)m Fort Patrick Henry on Holston River, to the 
French Salt Springs on Cumberland River, kept by John Donaldson. 

DtomJber 22, 1779. — Took our departure from tho tort and foil down 
the river to the mouth of Reedy Creek, where we were stopped by the 
fall of water, and most excessive hard frost ; and after much delay and 
maoy difficulties we arrived at the mouth of Cloud^s Creek, on Sunday 
evening, the 20th Febuary, 1780, where we lay by until Sunday, 27th, 
when we took our departure with sundry other vessels bound for the 
same voyage, and on tho same day struck the Poor Valley Shoal, 
together with Mr. Boyd and Mr. Rounsifer, on which shoal we lay that 
afternoon and succeeding night in much distress. 

M<mday^ February 28/A, 1780. — In tlie morning the water rising, 
we got off the shoal, after landing thirty persons to lighten our boat 
In attempting to land on an island, received some damage ano lost sun- 
dry articles, and came to camp on the south shore, where we joined 
sundry other vessels also bound down. 

Tuesday^ 2dth. — Proceeded down the river and camped on the north 
Aore, the afternoon and following day proving rainy. 

Wednesday, March Ist. — Proceeded on and camped on the south 
ahore, nothing happening that day remarkable. 

March 2d, — Rain about half the day ; passed the mouth of French 
Broad River, and about 12 oVIock, Mr. Henry^s boat being driven on the 
point of an islandf by the force of the current was sunk, the whole cargo 
much damaged and the crew's lives much endangered, which occasioned 
the whole fleet to put on shore and go to their assistance, but with much 
difficulty bailed her, in order to take in her cargo again. The same 
afternoon Reuben Harrison went out a hunting and did not return that 
niffht, though many guns were fired to fetch him in. 

^Hday, Zd. — Early in the morning fired a four-pounder for the lost man, 
•eat oat sundry persons to search the woods for him, firing many guns that 

^ For a cop7 of it this writer is indebted to the politeness of L. C. Draper, Eiq. 
t Probably William's Xdand, two miles above £jiozville. 

198 '* adventure" joins clinch RIVEB COMPAITT. 

day and the succeeding night, but all without suooeaa, to the gmfc picf 
of hw parents and fellow travellers. 

Saturday^ 4th. — Proceeded on our voyage, leaving old Mr. HamHn 
with some other vessels to make further search for his lost bod ; iboit 
ten oVlock the same day found him a considerable distance down the 
river, where Mr. Ben. Belew took him on board his boat At 8 e*clod, 
P. M., passed the mouth of Tennessee River, and camped on the sowUi 
shore about ten miles below the mouth of Tennessee.' • 

Sunday^ 5ih. — Cast off and got under way before sunrise ; 12 oMock 
passed the mouth of Clinch ; at 12 oVlock, M. came up with the CliDch 
River Company, whom we joined and camped, the evening proving 

Monday, Gik, — Got under way before sunrise ; the mominff proving 
ver}' fogpry, many of the fleet were much bogged — about 10 o clodc Iw 
by for them ; when collected, proceeded down. Camped on the north 
shore, where Capt Ilutching's negro man died, being much froeted in 
his feet and legs, of which ho died. 

Tuesday, Itk. — Got under way very early, the day proving veiy 
windy, a S.S.W., and the river being wide occasioned a high acA, 
insomuch that some of the smaller crafts were in danger; therefore came 
to, at the uppermost Chiccamauga Town, which was then evacuated, 
where wo lay by that afternoon and camped that night The wife of 
Ephraim Peyton was hero delivered of a child. Mr. Peyton has gone 
through by land with Capt Robertson. 

Wednesday, 8th. — Cast off at 10 oVlock, and proceed down to an 
Indian village, which was inhabited, on the south siae of the river ; thej 
insisted on ub to *' come ashore,'' called us brothers, and showed other 
signs of friendship, insomuch that Mr. John Caffrey and my son tlien on 
board took a canoe which I had in tow, and were crossing over to them, 
the rest of the fleet having landed on the opposite shore. After thej 
had gone some distance, a half-breed, who called himself Arcbr Coodjr^ 
with several other Indians, jumped into a canoe, met them, and advised 
them to return to the boat, which they did, together with Ooodj and 
several canoes which left the shore and followed directly after him. 
They appeared to be friendly. After distributiMr some presents among 
them, with which they seemed much pleased, we observed a num- 
ber of Indians on the other side embarking in their canoes, armed and 
painted with red and black. Coody immediate!? made «^ to his com- 
panions, ordering them to quit the boat, which Uiey did, himself and 
another Indian remaining with us and tellipg « «<> ™ove off matanUy. 
We had not gone far before we discovered a DamDerot Indians armed 
and painted proceeding down the river, «• Jj ^T^y ^^ mtercept ns. 
Coody, the half-breed, and his companioB,*"**^'^^ tor some time, 

and telling us that we had passed all ^J^^Z^^-^l^^ll ^^ <J«°ger, 
left us. But we had not gone far until iH»W come m sight of another 

town, situated likewise on the south «?*J^^ ^PF^ite a 

small island. Here they again i«^'«fi?liT tbe^nl^^^^^ '^''u'^^ ^ 
brothers, and oUser^nng the boats BtaaAjgoJ ^J;^/>PP<^'te channel, 
told us that " their side of the river w» bettw lor boats to pass.- And 

PASSES TBE >^ narrows" — FIRED UPON Bi: INDIANS. 199 

here we must regret the unfortunate death of joung Mr. Pajne, on 
board CapL Blackemore^s boat, who was mortally wounded by reason of 
the boat running too near the northern shore opposite the town, where 
some of the enemy lay concealed, and the more tragical misfortune of 
poor Stuart, ^is family and friends to the number of twenty-eight per- 
sons. This man had embarked with us for the Western country, but 
his family being diseased with the small pox, it was agreed upon be- 
tween him and the company that he should keep at some distance in 
the rear^ for fear of the infection spreading, and he was warned each 
iiiffht when the encampment should take place by the sound of a horn. 
AAer we had passed the town, the Indians having now collected to a 
considerable number, observing his helpless situation, singled off from 
the rest of the fleet, intercepted him and killed and took prisoners the 
whole crew, to the great grief of the whole company, uncertain how 
sooA they might share the same fate ; their cries were distinctly heard 
by those boats in the rear. 

We still perceived them marching down the river in considerable 
bodies, keeping pace with us until the Cumberland Mountain withdrew 
them firom our sight, when we were in hopes we had escaped them. 
We were now arrived at the place called the Whirl or Suck, where the 
river is compressed within less than half its common width above, by 
the Cumberland Moimtain, which juts in on both sides. In passing 
through the upper part of these narrows, at a place described by Coody, 
which he termed the ^' boiling pot," a trivial accid(int had nearly ruined 
the expedition. One of the company, John Cotton, who was moving 
down m a large canoe, had attached it to Robert Cartwright's boat, into 
which he and his family had gone for safety. The canoe was here over- 
turned, and the little cargo lost. The company pitying his distress, 
concluded to halt and assist him in recovering his property. They had 
landed on the northern shore at a level spot, and were going up to the 
place, when the Indians, to our astonishment, appeared immediately over 
IIS on the opposite clifl&, and commenced firing down upon us, which 
occasioned a precipitate retreat to the boats. We immediately moved 
ofi^ the Indians lining the bluffs along continued their fire from the 
heights on our boats below, without doing any other injury than wound- 
ing four slightly. Jennings^s boat is missing. 

We have now passed through the Whirl. The river widens with a 
placid and gentle current ; and all the company appear to be in safety 
except the &mily of Jonathan Jennings, whose boat ran on a large rock, 
projecting out from the northern shore, and partly immersed in water 
immediately at the Whirl, where we were compelled to leave them, 
perhaps to be slaughtered by their merciless enemies. Continued to sail 
on that day and floated throughout the following night. 

Thursday^ Qlh. — Proceeded on our journey, nothing happening wor- 
thy attention to-day ; floated till about midnight, and encamped on the 
northern shore. 

Friday^ lOth. — This morning about 4 o'clock we were surprised by the 
cries of ^ help poor Jennings," at some distance in the rea;. He had dis- 
covered us by our fires, and came up in the most wretched condition. He 
states, that as soon as the Indians discovered his situation they turned 



their whole attention to him, and kept np a most galling fire at his boat. 
He ordered his wife, a son nearly grown, a young man who accompa- 
nied them, and his negro man and woman, to throw all his goods into 
the river, to lighten their boat for the purpose of getting her ofl^ himself 
returning their fire as well as he could, being a good soldier and an ex- 
cellent marksman. But before they had accomplished their object, his 
son, the young man and the negro, jumped out of the boat and left them. 
He thinks the young man and the negro were wounded before they left 
the boat.* Mrs. Jennings, however, and the negro womam succeeded in 
unloading the boat, but chiefly by the exertions of Mrs. tfennings, who 

t out of the boat and shoved her ofi^ but was near fiilling a victim to 
er own intrepidity on account of the boat starting so suddenly as soon 
as loosened from the rock. Upon examination, he appears to have made 
a wonderful escape, for his boat is pierced in numberless nlaces with bul- 
lets. It is to be remarked, that Mrs. Peyton, who was tne night before 
delivered of an infant, which was imfortunately killed upon the hurry 
and confusion consequent upon such a disaster, assisted them, being fre- 
quently exposed to wet and cold then and afterwards, and that her health 
appears to be good at this time, and I think and hope she will do well. 
Their clothes were very much cut with bullets, especially Mrs. Jennings's. 

Saturday, 11 th, — Got under way after havinje distributed the fiimily 
of Mrs. Jennings in the other boats. Rowed on quietly that day, and 
eneamped for the night on the north shore. 

Sunday, 12 tk, — Set out, and after a few hour's saihng we heard the 
CTQwing of cocks, and soon came within view of the town ; here they 
fired on us again without doing any injury. 

After running until about 10 o'clock, came in sight of the Muscle Shoals. 
Halted on the northern shore at the appearance of the shoals, in order 
to search for the signs Capt. James Robertson was to make for us at that 
placQ. He set out from Uolston early in the fall of 1779, was to pro- 
ceed by the way of Kentucky to the Big Salt Lick on Cumberland River, 
with several others in company, was to come across from the Big Salt 
lick to the iipper end of the shoals, there to make such signs that we 
might know he had been there, and that it was practicable for us to go 
across by land. But to our great mortification we can find none — from 
which we conclude that it would not be prudent to make the attenapt, 
and are determined, knowing ourselves to be in such imminent danger, 
to pursue our journey down the river. After trimming our boats in the 
best manner possible, we ran through the shoals before night. When 
we approached them they had a dreadful appearance to those who had 
never seen them before. The water being high made a terrible roaring, 

♦ The negro was drowned. The son and the young man swam to the north 
side of the river, where they found and embarked in a canoe and floated down the 
river. Tlie next day they were niet by five canoes full of Indians, who took them 
prisoners and carried them to Chickainaiiga, where they killed and burned the 
young man. Thev knocked Jennings down and were about to kill him, but were 

Erevented by the friendly mediation of Rogers, an Indian trader, who ransomed 
im with g(K)d3> Rogers had been taken prisoner By Sevier a short time before, 
and had been releasea ; and that good office he requited by the ransom of Jen- 



irhax^ oonld "be heard at eome distaooe among the drift-wood heaped 
firightfall J upon the points of the islands,' the cuirent running in every 
poesible direction. Here we did not know how soon we should be dashed 
to pieesB, and all our troubles ended at once. Our boats frequenUj 
dragged on the bottom, and appeared constantly in danger of striking. 
They warped as much as in a rough sea. But by the hand of Provi- 
dence we are now preserved from this danger also. I know not the length 
of this wonderful shoal ; it had been represented to me to be 25 or 80 
miles. If so, we must have descended very rapidly/ as indeed we did, 
fot we passed it in about three hours. Came to, and camped on the 
northern shore, not fat below the shoals, for the night. 

Monday^ 19 th. — Got under way early in the morning, and made a 
good run that day. 

Tuesdajf^ 14th, — Set out early. On this day two boats approaching 
too near the shore, were fired on bv the Indians. Five of the crews were 
wounded, but not dangerously. Came to camp at night near the mouth 
of a creek. After kindling fires and preparing for rest, the company 
were alarmed, on account of the incessant barking our dogs kept up ; 
taking it for granted, that the Indians were attempting to surprise us, 
we retreated preeipitately to the boats; fell down the river about a 
mile and encamped on the other shore. In the morning I prevailed on 
Mr. Caffrey and my son to cross below in a canoe, and return to the 
place ; which they did, and found an African negro we had left in the 
harry, asleep by one of the fires. The voyagers returned and collected 
their ntensib which had been left. 

Wednnday, 16th. — Got under way and moved on peaceably the five 
following days, when we arrived at the mouth of the Tennessee on Mon- 
day, the 20th, and landed ort the lower point immediately on the bank of 
the Ohio. Qur situation here is truly disagreeable. The river is very high, 
and the current rapid, our boats not constructed for the purpose of stem- 
ming a rapid stream, our provision exhausted, the crews almost worn 
down with hunger and fatigue, and know not what distance we have to 
00, or what time it will take us to our place of destination. The scene 
18' rendered still more melancholy, as several boats will not attempt' to 
ascend the rapid current Some intend to descend the Mississippi to 
Natches ; others are bound for the Illinois — among the rest my son-in- 
law and daughter. We now part, perhaps to meet no more, for I am 
determined to pursue my course, happen what will. 

Tuektay, 2l8t. — Set out, and on this day laboured very hard and 
got but a little way ; camped on the south bank of the Ohio. Passed the 
two following days as the former, suffering much from hunger and &- 

Friday, 24th. — About 3 o'clock came to the mouth of a river which I 
thought was the Cumberland. Some of the company declared it could 
not be — ^it was so much smaller than was expected. But I never heard 
of any river running in between the Cumberland and Tennessee. It 
I4>pewed to flow with a gentle current We determined, however, to 
make the trial, pushed up some distance and encamped for<he night 

Saturday^ 25t?i. — ^To-day we are much encouraged ; the river ^ws 
irider; the current is very gentle, and we are now convinced it is the 


Omobeiland. I lia?6 dierived great amftanoe from a «inaU aquaee aaU 
whidi was fixed up oa the day we left the iQQUth of the river j^Da&d to 
prevent any ill-e&cta from sudden flaws of wind, a man was stationed 
at each of the lower comers of the sheet with, directions to give way 
whenever it was necessary. 

Sunday f 26f& — Qot under way early ; procured some buffido-meat; 
tbongh poor it was palatable. 

Momay^ 27tA.— Set out again ; killed a swan, which was veiy deHr 

Tuuday^ 28<A.-^-8et out very eaiiy this morning; killed some buffido. 

Wednesday^ 2 0<A. ^Proceeded up the river ; g^ered some herbs on 
the bottoms of Cumberland, which some of the company called Shawnee 

3%ttr«fay, 80^ — ^Proceeded on our voyage. This day we killed 
aome more bufialo. 

JW4ay, BUi. — Set out this day, and after running some distance, met 
with Col. Richard Henderson, who was running the line between Virgy 
nia and North-Carolina. At this meeting we were much rejoiced. He gave 
ua every information we wished, and further informed us that he had 
purohased a quantity of com in Kentucky, to be shipped at the Falls of 
Ohio for the use of the Cumberland settlement We are now withofit 
Iwead, and are compelled to hunt the buffido to preserve life. Worn out 
with btiffue, our progress at present is slow. Camped at night near the 
mouth of a little river^at which place and bek>w there is a handsome 
bottom of rich land. ;Here we found a pair of hand-mill stones set up 
for grinding, but appeared not to have been used for a great length of 

Proceeded on quietly until the 12th of April, at which j^me we came 
to the mouth of a little river running in on the north side, by^Moses Ren« 
foe and his company called Red River, up which they intend, to settle. 
Here they took leave of us. We proceeded up Cumberland, nothing 
happening material until the 23d, when we reached the first settlement 
on the north side of the river, one mile and a half below the Big Salt 
lick and called Eaton's Station, after a man of that name, who with 
several other families, came through Kentucky and settled there. 

Monday, April 24^.-^This day we arrived at our journey's end at 
the Big Salt Lick, where we have the pleasure of finding Capt Robert- 
son and his company. It is a source of satisfaction to us to be enabled 
to restore to him and others their families and friends, who were entrusted 
to our care, and who, sometime since, perhaps, despaired of ever meeting 
again. Though our prospects at present are dreary, we have found a few 
log cabins which have been built on a cedar bluff above the Lick, by Capt 
Robertson and his company. 

The distance traversed in this inland voyage, the extreme 

\ danger from the navigation of the rapid and unknown 

( rivers, and the hostile attacks from the savages upon 

their banks, mark the emigration under Col. Donelson as one 

of the greatest achievements in the settlement of the West 


The rfames of these adventurous navigators and bold pio- 
neers of the Cumberland country are not, all of them, recol- 
lected; some of them follow: Mrs. Robertson, the wife of 
James Robertson, Col. Donelson, John Donelson, Jun., Robert 
Cartwright, Benjamin Porter, James Cain, Isaac Neely, John 
Cotton, Mr. Rounsever, Jonathan Jennings, WilHam Crutch- 
field, Moses Renfroe, Joseph Renfroe, James Renfroe, Solo- 
mon Turpin, Johns, Sen., Francis Armstrong, Isaac 

Lanier, Daniel Dunham, John Boyd, John Montgomery, John 
Cockrill and John Cafirey, with their respective families ; 
also, Mary Henry, a widow, and her family, Mary Purnell 
and her family, John Blackmore and John Gibson. 
. These, with the emigrants already mentioned as having 
arrived with ^bertson by the way of the Kentucky trace, 
and the few that had remained at the Bluff to take care of 
the growing crops, constituted the nucleus of the Cumber- 
land community in 1780. Some of them plunged, at once, 
into the adjoining forests, and built a cabin with its necessary 
defences. Col. Donelson, himself, with his connexions, was 
of this number. He went up the Cumberland and settled 
upon Stone's River, a confluent of that stream, at a place 
since called Clover Bottom, where he erected a small fort 
on its south side. The situation was found to be too low, 
as the water, during a freshet, surrounded the fort, and it 
was, for that reason, removed to the north side. 

Dr. Walker, the Commissioner on the part of Virginia, 
for running the boundary line between that state and North- 
Carolina, arrived at the Bluff. He was accompanied by 
Col. Richard Henderson and his two brothers, Nathaniel and 
Pleasant Col. Henderson erected a station also, on Stone's 
River, and remained there some time, selling lands under 
the deed made to himself and partners by the Cherokees, at 
Watauga, in March, 1775, as has been already mentioned. 
He sold one thousand acres per head at ten dollars per thou- 
sand. His certificate entitled the holder, at a future time, 
to further proceedings in a land office.* The purchase of 
^ Transylvania in America," as made by Henderson and his 
associates, without any authority from the states of North- 

* Haywood. 


Carolina and Virginia, was, in itself, null and void, so far as 
it claimed to vest the title of lands in those individuals. The 
associates could be recognized only as private citizens, 
having no right to make treaties with or purchase lands 
from the Indians. This treaty was, however, considered as 
an extinguishment of the Indian title to the lands embraced 
within the boundaries mentioned in it. The legislatures of 
the two states, for this reason, and as a remuneration for the 
expenditures previous and subsequent to the treaty of Wa- 
tauga, allowed, to the Transylvania Company, a grant of 
two hundred thousand acres from each state. 

One of the great sources of Indian invasion and of hostile 
instigation, had been broken up by the capture of the British 
posts on the Wabash and in the Illinois country, and the 
captivity of Colonel Hamilton, who was now a prisoner at 
Williamsburg. Many of the western tribes had entered into 
treaties of peace and friendship with Col. Clarke, which 
presaged a temporary quietude to the frontier people. The 
repeated chastisements of the Cherokees by the troops under 
Sevier and Shelby, seemed, for a time, to secure the friend- 
ship of that nation. The news of this condition of western 
affairs gave a new impulse to emigration, and the roads and 
traces to Kentucky and Cumberland were crowded with 
hardy adventurers, seeking home and fortune in their distant 
wilds. This rapid increase of population exhausted the 
limited supply of food in the country, and a dearth ensued. 
Corn, and every other article of family consumption, became 
remarkably scarce. The winter had been long and exceed- 
ingly cold. The cattle and hogs designed for the use of the 
emigrants in their new settlements, had perished from star- 
vation and the inclemency of the season. The game in the 
woods was, from like causes, poor and sickly, and, though 
easily found and taken, was unfit for food. This scarcity 
prevailed throughout the whole frontier line for five hundred 
miles, and was aggravated by the circumstance that no 
source of supply was within the reach of the suffering peo- 
ple. In the neighbouring settlements of Kentucky, corn 
was worth, in March, of 1780, one hundred and sixty-five 
dollars a bushel, in continental money, which price it main- 


tained until the opening spring supplied other means of 

Such were the circumstances under which the pioneers of 
the Lower Cumberland formed the first permanent 'white 
settlement in Middle Tennessee. Their position was that of 
hardship and danger, toil and sufiering. As has been well said 
by anotherf in reference to Kentucky : they were posted in 
the heart of the most favourite hunting ground of numerous 
and hostile tribes of Indians on the north and on the south ; 
a ground endeared to them by its profusion of the finest 
gamOf subsisting on the luxuriant vegetation of this great 
natural park. It was, emphatically, the Eden of the Red 
Man. Was it then wonderful, that all his fiercest passions 
and wildest energies, should be aroused in its defence, against 
an enemy, whose success was the Indian's downfall ? 

The little band of emigrants at the Bluff were in the centre 
of a vast wilderness, equi-distant from the most war-like and 
ferocious tribes on this continent — ^tribes that had frequently 
wasted the frontiers of Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania, 
with the tomahawk and with fire, and that were now aided, 
in the unnatural alliance of Great Britain, by the arts and 
treasures furnished by the agents of that government. To 
attack and invasion from these tribes, the geographical po- 
sition of the Cumberland settlers gave a peculiar exposure 
and a special liability. Three hundred miles of wilderness 
separated them from the nearest fort of their countrymen on 
Holston. They were, perhaps, double that distance from 
their seat of government in North-Carolina, while all the 
energies of the parent state were employed in the tremendous 
struggle for Independence, in the cause of ^hich she had so 
early and so heartily engaged. This forlorn situation of the 
settlement at the Bluff became more perilous, as it was so 
accessible by water from the distant hostile tribes. De- 
scending- navigation could bring, with great rapidity, the 
fleets of canoes and perogues, from the Ohio and its western 
tributaries, loaded with the armed warriors of that region ; 
while upon the Tennessee River, with equal celerity, the 
Cherokee and Creek braves could precipitate themselves to 

• Mooette. f BaUer. 


the different landings on that stream, and co-operating wtth 
their confederates from the north, unite in one general stroke 
of devastation and havoc. Had this been done at the period 
of the iSrst emigration, the Bluff settlement could have been 
annihilated. Happily, the protracted and inclement winter 
that inflicted its inhospitable severity and such great hard- 
ships upon the first emigrants, protected them from attack, 
by confining their enemies to their towns and wigwams. 
Early in January, a small party of Delaware Indians came 
from the direction of the Cany Fork, and passed by the head 
of Mill Creek, and encamped on one of its branches, which 
has since been called Indian Creek. The Indians proceeded 
to Bear Creek of Tennessee, and continued there during the 
summer. At this time they offered no molestation to the 
whites. Before the next irruption of the Indians, time was 
given for the erection of defences, and Robertson's second 
colony was planted — consisting, like the first at Watauga, of 
intrepid men and heroic women — ^fit elements for tlie founda- 
tion of a great and fiourishing state. And here, at the Bluff, 
with its little garrison and rude stations — ^in the centre of a 
wide wilderness, and overshadowed by the huge evergreens 
and the ancient forest around it — ^amidst the snows, and ice, 
and storms of 178O5 was fixed the seat of commerce, of 
learning and the arts — the future abode of refinement and 
hospitality, and the cradle of empire. 

When the first settlers cam© to the Bluff in 1779-'80, Hay- 
wood says the country had the appearance of one which had 
never before been cultivated. There was no sign of any 
cleared land, nor other appearance of former cultivation. 
Nothing was pr^ented to the eye but one large plain of 
woods and cane, frequented by buffaloes, elk, deer, wolves, 
foxes, panthers, and other animals suited to the climate. The 
lands adjacent to the French Lick, which Mansco, in 1769, 
when he first hunted here, called an old field, was a large 
open space, frequented and trodden by buffaloes, whose large 
paths led to it from all parts of the country and there con- 
centred. On these adjacent lands was no under-growth nor 
cane, as far as the water reached in time of high water. 
The country as far as to Elk River and beyond it, had not a 


single permanent inhabitant, except the wild beasts of the 
forest ; but there were traces, as everywhere else, of having 
been inhabited many centuries before by a numerous popu- 
lation. At every lasting spring is a large collection of graves, 
made in a particular way, the whole covered with a stratum 
of mould and dirt, eight or ten inches deep. At many springs 
is the appearance of walls enclosing ancient habitations, the 
foundations of which were visible whenever the earth was 
cleared and cultivated — to these walls entrenchments were 
sometimes added. The walls sometimes enclose six, eighty 
or ten acres of land, and sometimes they are more extensive. 
We have thus traced the stream of emigration from the 
Atlantic to the West We have seen a few enterprising and 
adventurous men, clustering together on the banks of the 
remote and secluded Watauga, felling the forest, erecting 
the cabin, forming society and laying the foundation of go- 
vernment. We have seen the plain and unpretending emi- 
grant from the Yadkin, and his hunter associates, combining 
the .wisdom and virtue of the pioneer condition, and provi- 
ding laws and regulations suited to the wants of the new 
conununity around them. We have seen the patriotism and 
chivalry of the extreme western settlement rally at the sound 
of danger. Leaving their own frontier exposed, they mag- 
nanimously returned to the defence of a sister colony, and on 
the rugged Kenhawa, met and repulsed the savage invader. 
We have seen Robertson negotiate an enlargement of his 
border, and effect a peaceable extension of the settlements. 
We have seen the fortress erected, the station built, and the 
enemy repulsed. We have seen armaments by land and wa- 
ter boldly penetrate to the centre of the warlike Cherokee 
nation, and the soldiery of the Watauga bivouac upon the 
sources of the Coosa. The first settlement in Tennessee 
planted, defended, secure and prosperous, we have seen its 
founder and patriarch lead forth a new colony, through ano- 
ther wilderness, to experience upon another theatre, new pri- 
vations, and undergo new dangers, and perform new achieve- 
ments upon' the remote Cumberland. There, for the present, 
we shall leave them, and return to the eastern settlements. 
Here was the cradle of the great State of Tennessee, where 


itg infancy was spent and its early manhood formed. The 
vigorous shoots sent out from the parent stem — the colonies 
that have gone abroad from the old homestead- and peopled 
the great West— have ever been worthy of their ancestry. 
Their rapid growth and enlargement, their miexampled profr- 
perity and achievement, are noticed with feelings of parental 
ibodness and pride. In no spirit of senile, arrogance is the 
daim upon their filial piety asserted for veneration and re- 
gard to their East Tennessee forefathers. Through them our 
piond state claims to be one of the ^Id lliirteen,'* and to 
be identified with them in the cause of independence and 

On a preceding page, it has been mentioned that the ciq;>i- 
tal of Georgia was in the possession of the British, and that 
their posts had been extended up the Savannah River, as 
high as Augusta. Simidtaneously with the arrival of the 
enemy in G^rgia, was that of Gmieral Lincoln in South- 
Carolina, and the war of the Revolution was at onoe^trans- 
ferred fit>m the Northern to the Southern States. 

It was hoped that by the co-operation of our generous 
ally, France, all that had been lost in the south Would be 
lecovered at a single blow ; and that by the combined forces 
of Lincoln and Count D'Estaing, the army under Provost, and 
then concentrated at Savannah, would be captured. That 
place was attacked on the 8th of October, but the result 
blasted all the high hopes of the combined armies ; and 
their failure was the precursor of the loss of Charleston and 
the reduction of the Southern States. D'Estaing soon after 
left the coast. The southern army was nearly broken up ; 
sickness had diminished the number of the Carolina regi- 
ments, while those from the north were daily becoming 
weaker, by the expiration of the term of their enlistment 
The quiet possession of Georgia by the enemy, brought to 
their aid many of the Indians, and of the loyalists who liad 
fled from the Carolinas and Georgia and taken refuge among 
them. These were now emboldened to collect from all quar- 
ters, under cover of Provost^s army. These either united 
with it, or joined in formidable bodies to hunt up and de- 
stroy the whig inhabitants. M^y of these were forced, in 


their turn, to forsake their plantations, and transport their 
families beyond the mountains to the securer retreats of Wa^ 
taagaand Nollichucky. It became evident that all that wasr 
wanting to complete British ascendancy in the South, was 
the possession of Charleston. Should that metropolis, and 
the army that defended it, be captured, the reduction of the 
whole state, and probably of North-Carolina also, would 
ensue. To attain these objects, ten thousand chosen men, 
with an immense supply of arms and munitions of war, 
were landed, on the eleventh of February, 1780, on John^s 
Island, the command of which was taken by Sir Henry 
Clinton. The assembly of South-Carolina was in session ; 
and though the regular troops in the state did not then 
amonnt to one thousand men, and the defences of the city 
were in a dilapidated or unfinished .condition, it was resolved 
with one voice to defend the capital to the last extremity. 
Grovemor Rutledge was invested with dictatorial powers, 
and measures were taken to hasten the arrival of reinforce- 
ments from the interior of the state and from North-Caro- 
lina. The besieged at no time amounted to four thousand 
men, and yet had to defend an extent of works that could 
not be well manned by less than ten thousand. Besides, 
they were badly furnished, and, before the siege was over, 
were even suffering for food. Yet the defence was pro- 
tracted, under every discouragement and disadvantage, from 
the 29th of March to the 12th of May, when General Lincoln 
found himself obliged to capitulate. The fall of the metro- 
polis was soon after succeeded by the rapid conquest of the 
interior country, and, from the seacoast to the mountains, 
the progress of the enemy was almost wholly an uninter* 
rapted triumph. The inhabitants generally submitted, and 
were either paroled as prisoners, or took protection as Bri- 
tish subjects. A few brave and patriotic men, under gal- 
lant and indomitable leaders, remained in arms, but were 
sarprised and cut to pieces by Tarleton and Webster, or, 
for security from their pursuit, withdrew into North-Caro- 
lina. The march of the enemy was continued towards the 
populous whig settlements, and garrisons were established at 
prominent points of the country, with the view of pushing 


their conquest still farther into the interior. Sonth-Garolina 
was considered a sabdaed British province, rather than an 
American state, and Sir Henry Clinton, believing the conquest 
Qomplete, invested Lord Comwallis with the chief command, 
and sailed for New- York. 

** But^ in the midit of the general Bnbmisrioii of the inhabitants, there 
Mmained a few unoonqneraUe Bpiiits, whom nothing but death ooold 
qnelL These were Sompter, Marion and Williams, m South-Carolina, 
and Clarke and Twiggs, m Georgia. The three last had never submit- 
ted, and were ever in motion, harassing and waylaying the enemy. But 
their force was seldom ccNttiderable. Sumpter and Marion, after ths 
capitulation of Charleston, had retired into North-Carolina, to recruit 
their commands and gather the means ot carrying on that partisan war- 
frie in which they afterwards became so conspicuous.'' * 

When Georgia was overrun by the British, Colonel Clarke, 
^ ( with about one hundred of his valiant but overpowered 
( countrymen, sought safety in the remote settlements 
on the Watauga and Holston. Here their representations 
of the atrocities perpetrated by the loyalists induced many of 
the frontier men to return with Clarke and retaliate the inju- 
ries he and his associates had suffered. Clarke thus rein- 
forced, approached the British camp, placed his men near the 
road that lead to it, and sent forward a small detachment of 
his men to draw out the enemy into his ambuscade. The 
stratagem succeeded. On the approach of the British and loy- 
alists, Robert Bean, of Watauga, fired at and killed the com- 
manding officer. Many of his men suffered the same fate. 
The enemy was repulsed, and in their retreat before Clarke 
several were killed, while he sustained the loss of but a sin- 
gle Georgian. Here began a lasting friendship between the 
Georgians and the Western settlet«. 

The successes of the British army had stimulated into life 
the hitherto dormant disaffection of some of the inhabitants 
of North-Carolina. That army was now approaching, in its 
career of conquest and victory, the southern boundary of that 
state. Some who had hitherto worn the mask of friendship, 
became now the avowed enemies of the American cause. In 
the settlements beyond the mountain a few tories had taken 
refuge. To watch their motions as well as those of the Indians, 



it was found necessary to embody scouting parties of armed 
men. One of these killed Bradley, a disaffected citizen from 
Halifax county, and notorious for his crimes and his frequent 
and artful escapes from justice. With him was also taken 
another confederate in guilt, Halley. They were both taken 
and shot by Robert Sevier's company of horsemen. Another 
tory named Dykes, was also captured. He and others had 
concerted a plan to come to the house of Col. Sevier and mur- 
der him. The wife of Dykes, who had in time of distress 
been treated by Sevier with great kindness and humanity, dis- 
closed to him the meditated mischief Dykes himself was 
inmiediately hung. This was done by Jesse Green and John 
Gibson, two of the Regulators. An act of oblivion was passed 
for their relief. 

Thus the vigilance and efforts of the Western settlers were 
not confined to the protection and defence of their own seclu- 
ded homes. They had left parents and kindred and country- 
men east of the AUeghanies, and their hearts yet yearned for 
their safety and welfare. The homes of their youth were 
pillaged by a foreign soldiery, and the friends they loved were 
slain or driven into exile. Above all, the great cause of 
American freedom and independence was in danger, the coun- 
try was invaded by a powerful foe, and the exigencies of Ca- 
rolina called aloud for every absent son to return to her res- 
cue and defence. The call was promptly obeyed. And the 
mountain men — the pioneers of Tennessee — were the first to 
resist the invaders, and restrained not from the pursuit of the 
vanquished enemy till they reached the coast of the Atlantic. 

After the destination of the large armament under Sir 
( Henry Clinton was ascertained to be Charleston, Gen. 
( Rutherford, of North-Carolina, issued a requisition for 
the militia of that state to embody for the defence of their sis- 
ter state. That order reached Watauga, and the following 
proceedings were immediately had in that small but patriotic 
and gallant community. They are copied from the original 
manuscript in the possession of this writer. They are almost 
illegible from the ravages of time and exposure, but even now 
plainly shew the bold and characteristic chirography of Col. 
Sevier and the commissioned officers under him. There is 


no preamble, no circumlocution -^Nothing but action, prompt 
and decisive action, and the names of the actors : 

''At a meetiiig of sundry of the Militia Officers of Washingtoii Comity, 
ibm loth day of March, 1780 : Preeent, John Sevier, Colone], Jonathan 
Tipton, Major, Joseph Willson, John McNabb, Godfrey Isbell, Wm. Trim- 
ble, James Stinson, Robert Sevier, Captains, and Landon Carter, Lieute- 
nant, in the absence of Valentine Sevier, Captain. 

''In order to raise one hundred men, ameable to command of the 
Htm. Brigadier Rutherford, to send-to the aid of South-Carolina. 

"It is the opinion of the officers, that each company in this county do 
furnish eight effective men, well equipt for war, except Samuel Williams's 
company, which is to furnish four men well equipt as aforesaid. 

John Sevisr, Jno. McNabb, 

joskph willsok, jonathan tipton, 

Wm. Trimblk, GoDraxT Ibbxll.'' 
Jamss Stinson, 

On the same page is a list of captains. They are " Cap- 
tains McKnabb, Sevier, Hoskins, Been, Brown, Isbell, Trim- 
ble, Willson, Gist, Stinson, Davis, Patterson, Williams.'' 
• A similar requisition was made upon Isaac Shelby, the 
dolonel of Sullivan county. He was then absent in Ken- 
tucky. Fortunately General Rutherford was hurried off 
with such reinforcements as were near at hand, and the 
militia of these remote counties were not, with him, placed 
under the command of General Gates in the ill-advised and 
badly arranged engagement near Camden. Well was it for 
the future fame of Sevier and Shelby; well was it for the 
cause in which, soon afterwards, they acquired distinction 
for themselves and led their comrades in arms to victory and 
glory, that they were still left in their mountain recesses to 
quicken the patriotic impulses, and arouse the martial spirit of 
their countrymen, and lead them forth against the enemies of 
their country and of freedom. This duty they were soon called 
to perform. Col. Charles McDowell, in the absence of 
General Rutherford, succeeded in command, and immediately 
forwarded a despatch to Sevier and Shelby, informing these 
officers of the surrender of Charleston and the main south- 
ern army, and that the enemy had overrun South-Caro- 
lina and Georgia, and were rapidly approaching the limits 
of North-Carolina ; and requesting them to bring to his aid 
all the riflemen that could be raised, and in as short time as 


possible. Sevier had already enrolled, under the requisition 
of General Rutherford, one hundred of the militia of Wash- 
ington county. At his call, another hundred immediately 
volunteered, and, with these two hundred mounted riflemen, 
he started, at once, across the mountain for the camp of Mc- 
Do well. The despatch to Shelby reached him the 16th of 
June, in Kentucky, where he was locating and surveying 
lands. He immediately returned home, determined to go to 
the aid of his bleeding country and sustain the struggle in 
which she was engaged, till her independence should be 
secured. His appeal to the chivalry of Sullivan county was 
met by a hearty response, and early in July he found himself 
at the head of two hundred mounted riflemen, whom he 
rapidly led to the camp of McDowell, near the Cherokee 
ford of Broad River, in South-Carolina. Sevier, with his 
regiment, had arrived there a few days before. 

In the meantime, the British army had advanced to Ninety- 
Six, Camden and Cheraw, in South-Carolina. At the for- 
1780 i ^^^ place Nesbitt Balfour commanded, and, on the 
( 15th July, issued the following proclamation: 

" Notwithstanding the extraordinary lenity shown the misled inhabi- 
tants of this province, that they may now plainly see their true interest 
18 to unite sincerely with his Majesty's forces to suppress every invader 
of the public tranquillity, I have certain information that some persona 
who have been received into his Majesty's protection, forgetting every 
tie of honour and gratitude, and led by the hope of enriching them- 
selves by plundering the peaceable inhabitants, and are engaged in the 
woik of subverting his Majesty's mild and just government, have f * 
* * and are now actually in arms, with a body of rebels, assembled 
against the peace of this province. 

"This is, therefore, to give notice that every inhabitant of this province 
who is not at his own home by the 24th instant, or cannot make it 
appear that he is absent on lawful business, is hereby declared an out- 
law and is to be treated accordingly, and his property, of whatsoever 
lund, confiscated, and liable to military execution." 

Lord Cornwallis meeting with little obstruction in his vic- 
torious march, contemplated an extension of his conquest 
throu'^h North-Carolina. He had instructed the loyalists of 
that state not to rise until his approach to its southern bound* 

f The origmal, from which this is copied, b here illegible. It was taken from 
« tory offieer bj Ool. Sevier. 


ary would favour their concentration with his forces, and at 
the same time intimidate the whigs. As he approached Cam- 
den. Col. Patrick Moore appeared at the head of a large band 
of disaffected Americans from Tryon (since Lincoln) county, 
and erecting the royal standard, invited to it all the loyalists 
in Uiat section of North and South-Carolina lying between 
Uie Catawba River and the mountains. The rapid successes 
of the enemy and his near approach, encouraged the rising of 
the tories, and Colonel Moore, after an uninterrupted march, 
took post in a strong fort built by General Williamson, about 
four years before, during the Cherokee war. It was sur- 
rounded by a strong abbatis and was otherwise well provided 
with defences. It stood upon the waters of Pacolet River. 

Soon after the arrival of Sevier and Shelby at the Chero- 
kee ford. Col. McDowell detached them, and Col. Clarke, of 
Georgia, with about six hundred men, against Moore. His 
post was more than twenty miles distant. The riflemen took 
up the line of march at sunset, and at the dawn of day next 
morning surrounded the fort. Shelby sent in one of his men 
(William Cocke, Esq.) and made a peremptory demand of 
the surrender of the fort Moore replied that he would de- 
fend it to the last extremity. The lines of the assailants nvere 
immediately drawn in, within musket-shot of the enemy all 
round, with a determination to make an assault upon the 
fort. But before proceeding to extremities a second message 
was sent in. To this Moore replied, that he would surrender 
on condition that the garrison be paroled not to serve again 
during the war. The assailants were as humane as they were 
brave ; and to save the effusion of the blood of their deluded 
countrymen, the terms were agreed to. The fort was sur- 
rendered. Ninety-three loyalists and one British sergeant- 
major were in the garrison, with two hjmdred and flfty stand 
of arms, all loaded with ball and buckshot, and so disposed of 
at the port-holes that double the number of the whigs might 
have been easily repulsed. 

As confirming the accuracy of the account as here given 
of the surrender of Colonel Moore, the subjoined letter is^ 
here for the first time published. It was taken amongst the 
spoils at King's Mountain, and is now so worn as to be nearljr 


illegible : the writer's name is no longer upon it. It may be the 
despatch of Major Ferguson himself to Lord Cornwallis, apolo- 
gizing for the conduct of some loyalist then under censure. 
Speaking of the fort and garrison commanded by Col. Moore, 
the writer says : 

''It had an upper line of loop-holes and was surrounded by a very 
strong abbatis, with only a small wicket to enter by. It had been put 
in thorough repair at the request of the garrison, which consisted of the 

neighbouring militia that had come to , and was defended by 

dghty men against two or three hundred banditti without cannon, and 

each man was of opinion that it was impossible • 

. . . . The officer next in command and all the others, gave their 
opinion for defending it, and agree in their account that Patrick Moore, 
alter proposing a surrender, acquiesced in their opinion and offered to go 
and sigDjfy as much to the rebels, but returned, with some rebel offipers, 
whom he put in possession of the gate and place, who were instantly 
followed by their men, and the fort full of rebels to the surprise of the 
garrison. He plead cowardice, I understand 

^ Mr. Gibbs is a very loyal man and has suffered much in this rebel- 
lion. , . Maj. Gibbs's fidelity and zeal for the 

King's service is undoubted. I have only laid the above circumstances 
before your Lordship, as a proof of the very bad consequences to the pub- 
lic service . . ... . . . . . . Lordship, measures that may 

follow from the mistaken humanity of easy, well-meaning men to the 
utter subversion of all justice and policy.'' 

This bold incursion of the mountain men, together with 
the capture of the garrison under Moore, induced Lord Corn- 
wallis to detach from his main army some enterprising offi- 
cers, with a small command, to penetrate through the 
country, embody the loyalists and take possession of the 
strongest posts in the interior. This had become the more 
necessary as the advance of the American army under 
De Kalb, and afterwards under Gates, began to inspirit the 
desponding whigs and at the same time restrained the vigor- 
ous co-operation of the tories with the British troops. Mea- 
sures were, therefore, adopted to embody and discipline the 
zealous loyalists, and for this purpose Col. Ferguson, an 
active and intelligent officer, and possessing peculiar quali- 
fications for attaching to him the marksmen of Ninety-Six, 
was despatched into that district. 

'^ To a corps of one himdred picked regulars, he soon succeeded in 
twelve or thirteei^ hundred hardy natives ; his camp became 


ihe rendeKYOos of the desperate, the idle and vindictive, as well as of the 
youth of the loyalist^ whose zeal ir ambition prompted them to military 
aervioe. There was a part of South-Carolina which had not yet been 
trodden by a hostile foot, and the projected march through this unex- 

Slored and as yet undevastated region, drew many to the standard of 
'erguson. This was the country which stretches along the foot of the 
mountain towards the borders of North-Carolina. The progress of the 
British commander and his unnatural confederates, was marked with 
blood and lighted up with conflagrations.''* 

Astonished by the ' bold and unexpected incursion of the 
western volunteer riflemen, under Shelby and Sevier, and 
apprehending that the contagion of their example and their 
presence might encourage the whigs of Carolina to resume 
their arms, Ferguson and the loyalists took measures to 
secure the allegiance of the inhabitants by the following 
written agreement, entered into and signed by disaffected 
American militia officers. The original is now before the 
writer. It was found in the possession of a tory colonel, by 
Sevier, at King's Mountain. 

^ As the public safety and the preservation of our freedom and pro- 
perty depends upon our acting together in support of the royal cause, 
and in defence of our country against any enemy who may attack us ; 
it is the unanimious opinion of the officers and men of Gibbs', Plummer's, 
Cunningham's, dairy's, King's and Eirkland's battalions of militia, and 
also of all the officers and men of Colonel Mills's battalion of North-Caro- 
nians, assembled under the command of Major Ferguson at Brannon's 
Settlement, August 13, 1780: That every man who does not assemble 
when required, in defence of his country, in order to act with the other 
flood subjects serving in the militia, exposes his comrades to unnecessary 
danger, abandons the royal cause and acts a treacherous part to the country 
in which he lives ; and it is the UDanimous opinion that whoever quits 
his battalion, or disobeys the order of the officers commanding, is a 
worse traitor and enemy to his king and country, than those rebels who 
are aflain in arms after having taken protection, and deserves to be 
treated accordiogly ; and we do, therefore, empower the officers com- 
manding in camp as well as the officers commanding our several bat- 
talions of militia, from time to time, to cause the cattle and grain of 
all such officers and men, as basely &il to assemble and muster as re- 
quired in times of public danger, or who quit their battalions without 
leave, to be brought to camp for the use of those who pay their debt 
to the country by their personal services ; and we do also empower the 
said commanding officers, and do require of them, that they will secure 
the arms and horses of such delinquents, and put them into the possession 
of men who are better disposed to use them in defence of their country, 

* Jofanaon. 


and that they will bring such traitors to trial, in order that they may be 
punished as they deserve and turned out of the militia with disgrace. 
The above resolutions agreed to by every man of the above mentioned 

regiments^ as well as by the men of and Philip's regiment, 

who were at camp at Edward Moverley's, this 16th day of August, 
1780. Zach. Gibbs, Major, John EEamilton, Major, Thos. D. Hill, jun., 
Adjty John Philips, L. 0., W. T. Turner, L. Colonel, Daniel Plummer, 

** It was also this day unanimously. Resolved, by every officer and man 
now in camp, of all the above mentioned regiments, that whatever man 
should neglect to assemble and do his duty in the militia, when sum* 
moned for public service, shall be made to serve in the regular troops ; it 
bein^ the unanimous opinion of every man present, that it is the duty 
of all who call themselves subjects, to assist in defence of the country one 
way or the other." 

By such means as these were the whigs dispirited and 
the ranks of the British and tories hourly enlarged. 

As be advanced, Ferguson increased his command till it 
iTso i amounted to above two thousand men, ir) addition to 
( a small squadron of horse. To watch their move- 
ments, and, if possible, to cut off their foraging parties. Col. 
McDowell, not long after the surprise and capture of Moore, 
detached Cols. Shelby and Clarke, tv^ith six hundred mounted 
riflemen. Several attempts were made by Ferguson to sur- 
prise this party, but, in every instance, his designs were 
baffled. However, on the first of August, his advance of 
six or seven hundred men came up with the party of Shelby 
and Clarke, at a place called Cedar Spring, where they had 
chosen to fight him. A sharp conflict of half an hour ensued, 
when Ferguson came up with his whole force, and the 
Americans withdrew, carrying ofi* the field of battle twenty 
prisoners, with two British officers. The killed of the enemy 
was not ascertained. The American loss was ten or twelve 
killed and wounded. Among the latter was Col. Clarke, on 
the neck, slightly, with a sabre. 

McDowell's policy was to change his camp frequently. 
He now lay at Smith's ford of Broad River. Here he re- 
ceived information that a party of four or five hundred tories 
were encamped at Musgrove's mill, on the south side of Eno- 
ree River, about forty miles distant. He again detached 
Shelby and Clarke, together with Col. Williams, of South- 
Carcdina, who had joined his command, to surprise and dis- 


perse them. Ferguson lay, with his whole force, at that 
time, exactly between. The detachment amounted to six 
hundred horsemen. These took up their line of march, just 
before sundown, on the evening of the eighteenth of August. 
They went through the woods until dark, and then took a 
road leaving Ferguson's camp some three or four miles to 
the left. They rode very hard all night, and at the dawn of 
day, about half a mile from the enemy's camp, were met by 
a strong patrol party. A short skirmish followed, when 
the enemy retreated. At that moment a countryman, living 
just at hand, came up and informed the party that the enemy 
httd been reinforced the evening before with six hundred 
regular troops, under Col. Ennes, which were destined to 
join Fergusoif s army. The circumstances of this informa- 
tion were so minute that no doubt could be entertained of 
its truth. For six hundred men, fatigued by a night ride of 
forty miles, to march on and attack the enemy, thus rein- 
forced, seemed rash and improper. To attempt an escape 
by a rapid retreat, broken down as were both men and 
horses, was equally hopeless, if not impossible. The heroic 
determination was, therefore, instantly formed to make the 
best defence they could under the existing ' circumstances. 
A rude and hasty breast-work of brush and old logs was 
immediately constructed. Captain Inman was sent forward 
with about twenty-five men to meet the enemy and skirmish 
with them as soon as they crossed the Enoree. The sound 
of their drums and bugles soon announced their movements, 
and induced the belief that they had cavalry. Inman was 
ordered to fire on them, and retreat according to his own 
discretion. This stratagem, which was the suggestion of 
the captain himself, drew the enemy forward in disorder, as 
they believed they had driven the whole party. When they 
came up within seventy yards, a most destructive fire from 
the riflemen, who lay concealed behind their breast-work of 
logs, commenced. It was one whole hour before the enemy 
could force the Americans from their slender defences, and 
just as they began to give way in some points, the British 
commander. Col. Ennes, was wounded. All his subalterns, 
except one, being previously killed or wounded, and Captain 


Hawsey, the leader of the loyalists on the left, being shot 
down, the whole of the enemy's line began to yield. The 
riflemen porsoed them close, and drove them across the river. 
In this pursuit the gallant Inman was killed, bravely fight- 
ing the enemy hand to hand. Tn this action Col. Shelby 
commanded the right, Col. Clarke, the left, and Col. Williams, 
the centre. 

The battle lasted one hour and a half. The Americans 
lay 8o closely behind their little breast-work that the enemy 
entirely over-shot them, killing only six or seven, amongst 
whom the loss of the brave Captain Inman was particularly 
regretted. Hii^ stratagem of engaging and skirmishing with 
the enemy until the riflemen had time to throw up a hasty 
breast-work — ^his gallant conduct during the action, and his 
desperate charge upon their retreat — contributed much to the 
victory. He died at the moment it was won. The number 
of the enemy killed and wounded was considerable. The 
tones were the first to escape. Of the British regulars un- 
der Col. Ennes, who fought bravely to the last and prolonged 
the conflict even against hope, above two hundred were 
taken prisoners. 

The Americans returned immediately to their horses, and 
mounted with a determination to be in Ninety-Six before 
night. This was a British post less than thirty miles distant, 
and not far from the residence of Col. Williams, one of the 
commanders. It was considered best to push their successes 
into the disafiected regions before time would allow rein- 
forcements to reach them. Besides, by making their next 
expedition in the direction of Ninety-Six, they would avoid 
Ferguson's army, near whose encampment they would have 
necessarily to pass on theic return to McDowell's head-quar- 
ters, at Smith's Ford. At the moment of starting, an express 
firom McDowell rode up in great haste, with a short letter in 
his hand from Governor Caswell, dated on the battle ground, 
apprising McDowell of the defeat of the American grand 
army under General Gates, on the sixteenth, near Camden, 
advising him to get out of the way, as the enemy would, no 
no doubt, endeavour to improve their victory to the greatest 
advantage, by cutting up all the small corps of the Ameri- 

390 TBI AMamtOAMB MmnMM Aoaotm tbb MOUiiTAni. 

can armies. Fortanately» Col. Shelby was well acquainted 
with the hand- writing of Governor Caswell, and knew what 
reliance to place upon the intelligence brought by the ex- 
press. The men and horses were fatigued by the rapid 
march of the night, as well as the severe conflict of the 
morning. They were now encumbered with more than two 
htmdred British prisoners and the spoils of victory. Besides 
these difficulties that surrounded the American party, Uiere 
was another that made extrication from them, dangerous if 
not impossible. A numerous army under an enterprising 
leader lay in their rear, and there was every reason to be- 
lieve that Ferguson would have received intelligence of the 
daring incursion of the riflemen, and of the defeat of his 
friends at the Enoree. The delay of an hour might have 
proved disastrous to the victors. The prisoners were imme- 
diately distributed among the companies, so as to leave one 
to every three men, who carried Uiem alternately on horse- 
back. They rode directly towards the mountains, and con- 
tinued the march all that day and night, and the succeeding 
day, until late in the evening, without ever stopping to re- 
fresh. This long and rapid march — ^retreat it can scarcely be 
called, as the retiring troops bore with them the fruits of a 
well earned victory — saved the Americans. For, as was af- 
terwards ascertained, they were pursued closely until late in 
the evening of the second day after the action, by Major Du- 
poister, and a strong body of mounted men from Ferguson's 
army. These became so broken down by excessive fatigue, 
in hot weather, that they despaired of overtaking the Ameri- 
cans and abandoned the pursuit. 

Shelby having seen the party and its prisoners beyond the 
reach of danger, retired across the mountains. He left the 
prisoners with Clarke and Williams, to be carried to some 
place of safety to the North, for it was not known then that 
there was even the appearance of a corps of Americans any 
where south of the Potomac. So great was the panic aflier 
the defeat of Gates, and the disaster of Sumpter, that McDow- 
ell's whole army broke up. He, with several hundred of his 
followers, yielding to the cruel necessity of the unfortunate 
circumstances which involved the country, retired across the 


mountains, and scattered themselves among the hospitable 
settlers in the securer retreats of Watauga and Nollichucky. 

At this period a deep gloom hung over the cause of 
( American Independence, and the confidence of its 
c most steadfast friends was shaken. The reduction of 
Savannah, the capitulation of Charleston and the loss of the 
entire army under General Lincoln, had depressed the hopes 
of the patriot whigs, and the subsequent career of British 
conquest and subjugation of Georgia and South-Carolina, 
excited serious apprehehsion and alarm for the eventual 
success of the American cause. At the urgent appeal of the 
patriotic Governor Rutledge, Virginia had sent forward rein- 
forcements under Col. Buford. His command was defeated 
and his men butchered by the sabres of Tarleton. At Cam- 
den a second southern army, and commanded hy General 
Oates, was dispersed, captured and signally defeated by 
Corn wal lis. 

Bat besides these disasters, there were other circumstances 
that aggravated the discouraging condition of American 
affairs. The finances of Congress were low ; the paper cur- 
rency had failed ; its depreciation was every where sinking 
with a rapid proclivity still lower ; the treasuries of the states 
were exhausted and their credit lost ; a general distress per- 
vaded the country ; subsistence and clothing for the famish- 
ing and ill-clad troops, were to be procured only by impress- 
ment ; and the inability of the government, from the want of 
means, to carry on the war, was openly admitted. British 
posts were established, and garrisons kept up at numerous 
points in the very heart of the country, and detachments 
from the main army were with profane impudence rioting 
through the land in an uninterrupted career of outrage, ag- 
gression and conquest. Under the protection of these, the 
loyalists were encouraged to rise against their whig coun- 
trymen, to depredate upon their property, insult their fami- 
lies, seek their lives and drive them into exile upon the 
Western waters. This was the general condition of Ameri- 
can affairs in the South, immediately after the defeat near 
Camden. General Gates endeavouring to collect together 
the shattered fragments of his routed army, made a short 


halt at Charlotte, He afterwards fell back further and 
made his head-quarters at Hillsboro'. 

After the discomfiture of the American army at Camden, 
and the defeat and dispersion of Sumpter's corps, Lord Com- 
wallis waited only for supplies from Charleston, before he 
proceeded to North^Carolina, which he now scarcely con- 
sidered in any other light than as the road to Virginia. A 
junction with the royal forces in that state, was expected at 
so early a day as to give time for prosecuting further opera- 
tions against Maryland and Penns/ylvania. The expectation 
of some went so far as to count upon a junction with the 
royal army in New- York, and the subjugation of every state 
south of the Hudson, before the close of the campaign."*^ 
Elated with such delusive prospects of conquest and renown, 
from achievements so magnificent and romantic. Lord Com- 
wallis, until provisions for his army arrived, resumed at Cam- 
den the consideration of civil affairs, hoping to give quiet 
and stability to the province he had subdued. Finding that 
many Americans, after swearing allegiance to the British 
government, had, on the approach of Gates, revolted, he 
thought it necessary to prevent further defection by severity 
towu^s the most active and forward in violation of their 
oaths. The estates of such were sequestered. Instant death 
was denounced against those, who after taking protection, 
should be found in arms against the king. Other measures 
were at the same time adopted, to secure the submission of 
the whigs. Some of the most influential of these, in defiance 
of the terms of surrender and the faith of treaty, were torn 
from their families, hurried into transports and conveyed to 
the fortress of St. Augustine. Among these was General 
Rutherford, whose offence was that while a prisoner at Cam- 
den, he manifested no signs of penitence for his rebellion, nor 
of submission to his captors. The lives and property of the 
whigs were subjected to a military despotism. 

Having completed these arrangements in South-Carolina, 
his lordship, on the eighth of September, marched towards 
North-Carolina ; and as he passed through the most hostile 
and populous districts, he sent Col. Tarleton and M igor Fer- 

* RamMj. 


guson to scour the country to his right and left. Arrived at 
Charlotte, and conceiving it to be a favourable situation for 
further advances, he made preparations for establishing a 
post at that place. While he was thus engaged, the com- 
manders of his detachments were proceeding in their respec- 
tive expeditions. The detachment under Ferguson, as has 
been already seen, had been for several weeks on the left of 
the main army, watching the movements of McDowell, 
Sevier, Shelby, Sumpter and Williams, and Clarke and 
Twiggs. His second in command, Dupoister, had followed 
in close pursuit the mountain men as they retired, after their 
victory at Enoree, to their mountain fastnesses. Ferguson 
himself, with the main body of his army, followed close upon 
the heels of Dupoister, determined to retake the prisoners or 
support his second in command, if he should overtake and 
engage the escaping enemy. Finding that his efforts were 
fmitless, Ferguson took post at a place then called Gilbert 
Town, near the present Rutherfordton, in North-Carolina. 
From this place he sent a most threatening message by 
Samuel Philips, a paroled prisoner, that if the ofEcers wes£ 
of the mountains did not lay down their opposition to the 
British arms, he would march his army over, burn ,and lay 
-waste their country and hang their leaders. 

Patrick Ferguson, who had sent this insolent message, 
was at the head of a large army. Of the loyalists compo- 
sing a part of his command, some had previously been 
across the mountain, and were familiar with the passes by 
which these heights were penetrated. One of them had been 
subjected to the indignity of a coat of tar and feathers, in- 
flicted during the past summer, by the light horsemen of 
Captain Robert Sevier, on Nollichucky. He proposed to act 
as pilot to the command, which now stood at the foot of the 
Blue Ridge, ready to carry into execution the threat made 
by Ferguson. This gentleman had already displayed that 
oombination of intrepid heroism, inventive genius and sound 
judgment, which constitute the valiant soldier and the able 
commander. In early youth he entered the British army, 
and in the German war was distinguished by a courage as 
cool as it was determined. The boasted skill of the Ameri- 

' \ 

SM rasouioir at xnnBXT-ai* 

cans in the vme of the rifle was an oiyecl of t etwta lln 

British troops^ and the ramors of their fatal aim opermMd open 
and stimulated the genius of Ferguson. His inventkiB pm- 
duced a new species of that instrument of warfiunf^ wliMk 
he could load at the breech, without using the ramoier er 
turning the muzzle away from the enemy, and with MMh 
quickness of repetition as to fire seven times in m linirtfii^ 
After the reduction Charleston, Lord ComwaUis oftUad fa 
the assistance of Ferguson in procuring the snbmiiim flf 
South-Carolina. Among the propositions of that comiBuuMisr 
to secure this object, one scheme was to arm those of the 
inhabitants who were well-afiected to the British eame mai 
embody them for their own defence. Fergusout now a liM- 
tenant-colonely was entrusted with the charge of m^iwhfrfV 
ting the militia throughout the upper districts. Uadv 
his direction and conduct, a military force, at <MieeBtt- 
merous and select, was enrolled and disciplined. T^mmm 
he divided into two classes ; one, of the young men, 
should be ready to join the king's troops to repel any 
*that infested the country ; another, of the aged and headu of 
families, who should unite in the defence of their hnnSM, 
farms and neighbourhoods.t 

" In completing this organization, Ferguson had adraneed to Ninslf- 
Six, and, with a large body of troops, was, with hia usual T^oor and 
success, acting against small detachments of Americans, who, undsr sU 
the discouragements that surrounded them, still remained true to the 
cause of independence, and determined to maintain possession of the 
country against the overwhelming force of the British and the royal 
militia. At J^inety Six Ferguson received intelligence that a eorps of 
Americans, under Col. Clarke, had made an attempt upon the British 
post at Augusta, and, being repulsed, was retreating by the back setUe- 
ments to North-Carolina. To this information, the messenger further 
added that the commandant at Augusta, Col. Brown, intended to lunig 
upon the rear of Clarke, and urged Ferguson to cut across his nmls 
and co-operate inr intercepting and dispersing his party. This serrioe 
seemed to be perfectly consistent with the {Purposes of Ferguson's expe- 
dition, as it would give employment to ms loyalists, prevent the con- 
eentration of whig forces, and prevent their junc^on with Gen. Ghttes. 
Clarke was able, however, to elude his vigilance, and was present^ ss 
has been seen, at the battle of Enoree, and assisted in that mastuNrly 
oigagement, and the remarkable retreat by which he and his comrades 

•Biifett. tldem. 


escaped from Ferguson. The pursuit of tlie letiripg Americans 
brought Ferguson so far to the left as to seem to threaten the habi- 
tations of the hardy race that occupied and lived beyond the moun- 
tains. He was approaching the lair of the lion, for many of the fiimi- 
lies of the persecuted whigs had been deposited in this asylum."* 

The refugee whigs received a hearty welcome from their 
hospitable but plain countrymen on Watauga and Nolli- 
chucky. The door of every cabin "wbls thrown open, and the 
strangers felt at once assured of kindness, of sympathy and 
assistance. Among the neighbours of Sevier and Shelby the 
exiles from the JCaroIinas and Georgia were at home. 

Among the refugees, soon after, came Samuel Philips, the 
paroled prisoner, by whom Ferguson sent his threatening mes* 
sage as already mentioned. It reached Shelby about the last 
of August. He immediately rode fifty or sixty miles to see 
Sevier, for the purpose of concerting with him measures suited 
to the approaching crisis. He remained with him two days. 
They came to the determination to raise all the riflemen they 
could, march hastily through the mountains and endeavour 
to surprise Ferguson in his camp. They hoped to be able, 
at least, to cripple him so as to prevent his crossing the moun- 
tain in the execlition of his threat. The day and the place 
were appointed for the rendezvous of the men. The time was 
the twenty-fifth day of September, and the Sycamore Shoals, 
on Watauga, selected as being the most central point and 
abounding most in the necessary supplies. 

Col. Sevier, with that intense earnestness and persuasive 
address for which he was so remarkable, began at once to 
arouse the border-men for the projected enterprise. In this 
he encountered no difficulty. A spirit of congenial heroism 
brought to his standard, in a few days, more men than it was 
thought either prudent or safe to withdraw from the settle- 
ments: the whole military force of which was estimated at 
considerably less than a thousand men. Fully one half of 
that number was necessary to man the forts and stations, and 
keep up scouting parties on the extreme frontier. The remain- 
der were immediately enrolled for the distant service. A dif- 
ficulty arose from another source. Many of the volunteers 

* Johnson. 



were unable to furnish suitable horses and equipments. The 
iron hand of poverty checked the rising ambition of many a 
valorous youdi, who 

^ had heard of battle. 

And who longed to follow to the field aome warlike chieCT 

** Here," said Mrs. S., pointing to her son, not yet sixteen 
years old ; ^ Here, Mr. Sevier, is another of our boys that 
wants to go with his father and brother to the> war — ^but we 
have no horse for him, and, poor fellow, it is a great distance 
to walk.** Colonel Sevier tried to borrow money on his own 
responsibility, to fit out and furnish the expedition. But every 
inhabitant had expended the last dollar in taking up his land, 
and all the money of the country was thus in the hands of the 
Entry-taker. Sevier waited upon that officer and represented 
to him that the want of means was likely to retard, and in 
some measure to frustrate, his exertions, to carry out the expe*- 
dition, and suggested to him the use of the public money in 
his hands. John Adair* Esq., late of Knox county, was the 
Entry-taker, and his reply wa3 worthy of the times and wor^ 
thy of the man. ** Col. Sevier, I have no authority by law to 
make that disposition, of this money. It belongs to the im- 
poverished treasury of North-Carolina, and I dare not appro- 
priate a cent of it to any purpose. But, if the country is over- 
run by the British, liberty is gone. Let the money go too. 
Take it. If the enemy, by its use, is driven from the country, 
I can trust that country to justify and vindicate my conduct. 
Take it." 

The money was taken and expended in the purchase of am- 
munition and the necessary equipments. Shelby and Sevier 
pledged themselves to see it refunded, or the act of the Entry- 
taker legalized by the North-Carolina legislature. That was 
scrupulously attended to at the earliest practicable moment. 
The evidence of it is before this writer, in the original receipt 
now in his possession : 

''RecMn Jan'j. Slat, 1782, of Mr. John Adair, Entiy-taker in the 
county of Sulliyao, twelve thousand seven hundred and thirty-five dol- 
lan, which is placed to his credit on the Treasury Books. 

1 o TaR n^iio« \ ^^^ Robert Lakieb, Treas'r. 

12,786 Dollars. ^ ^^^ j^j^^„ 


Sevier also undertook to bring Col. McDowell and other 
field officers who with their followers were then in a state 
of expatriation amongst the western settlers, into the measure. 
In this he succeeded at once. All of them had been driven 
from their homes, which were now deserted and exposed to 
the depredations of the disorderly and licentious loyalists who 
had joined the foreign enemy. Most of them had friends and 
kindred, on whom Ferguson and his tories were even then 
wreaking their vengeance. These homes and these friends, 
they longed to rescue and protect from further violence and 

To Shelby was assigned the duty of securing the co-ope- 
ration of the riflemen of Western Virginia. These had, ia 
many a pcust campaign, with the pioneers of Tennessee, 
bivooaced and fought and triumphed together over a savage 
foe, and it was now deemed essential to the preservation of 
liberty and independence to obtain the aid of these gallant 
men in resisting the invasion of the common country. Shel- 
by accordingly hastened home, wrote a letter to William 
Campbell, eolonel commandant of Washington county, Vir- 
ginia, and sent it by his brother, Moses Shelby, to the house 
of Campbell, a distance of forty miles. In this letter Col. 
Shelby stated what had been determined on by Sevier and 
liimself, and urged Campbell to join them with his regiment. 
That gallant officer, true to the general cause, but most loyal 
to Virginia, replied, by the same messenger, that he did not 
approve of the measures that had been adopted, and that he 
shoald pursue his original intention and march his men down 
by way of the Flower Gap, and get on the southern borders 
of Virginia, ready to meet and oppose Lord Cornwallis when 
he approached that state. With this answer Shelby was 
much disappointed. He was unwilling that the whole mili- 
tary force of Sullivan and Washington counties should be 
taken upon the contemplated expedition, and thus leave the 
frontier exposed to attacks from the Cherokees, from whom 
they were threatened with, and had good reason to expect, 
an immediate invasion. He, therefore, wrote a second letter 
and sent it by the same messenger, immediately back to Col. 
Campbell, giving additional reasons in favour of the prqjected 


campaigih To this letter Oampb^U replied that he woold 
oo-operate with his whole foroe. 

. Col. Campbell commanded four hundred men from Yir- 
gioia, Col. Sevier two hundred and forty from Washington, 
and Col. ^helby two hundred and forty from Sullivan county, 
in North-Carolina. The refugee whigs mustered under Col. 
M<eDowelI. All were well mounted, and nearly aH armed 
with a l5eokhard * rij9e. 

The camp on Watauga, on the twenty-fifth of September, 
presented an animated spectacle. With the exception of the 
few colonists on the distant Cumberland, the entire military 
fbree of what is now Tennessee was assembled at the Syca- 
more Shoals. Scarce a single gunman remained, that day, 
«t his own house. The young, ardent and energetic had 
generally enrolled themselves for the campaign against Per* 
gnson. The less vigorous and more aged, were left, with 
the inferior guns, in the settlements for their protection 
against the Indians ; but all had attended 'the rendezvous. 
The old men were there to counsel, encourage and stimulate 
the youthful soldier, and to receive, fW>m the colonels, in- 
structions for the defence of the stations during their absence* 
Others were there to bring, in rich profusion, the products 
of their farms, which were cheerfully furnished gratuitously 
and vrithout stint, to complete the outfit of the expedition. 
Gold and silver they had not, but subsistence and clothing, 
and equipment and the fiery charger — anything the frontier- 
man owned, in the cabin, the field or the range, was offered, 
unostentatiously, upon the altar of his country. The wife 
and the sister were there, and, with a suppressed sigh, wit- 
nessed the departure of the husband and the brother. And 
there, too, were the heroic mothers, with a mournful but 
noble pride, to take a fond farewell of their gallant sons. 

The sparse settlements of this frontier had never before 
seen assembled together a concourse of people so immense 
and so evidently agitated by great excitement. The large 

* Thii rifle wm remflrlrtble ibr tlie preoiiioo and distance of its shot. It waa 
geoerally three feet six inches long, weighed about seven pounds, and ran about 
■erenty bullets to the pound of lead. It was so called iroinJ)eckhard, the maker* 
tf Laneaater, Pa. One of tiiem k now in the poweis i on of the writer. 


mass of the assembly were volunteer riflemen, clad in the 
home-span of their wives and sisters, and wearing the 
hunting shirt so characteristic of the back-woods soldiery^ 
and not a few of them the moccasins of their own manu- 
facture. A few of the officers were better dressed, but all 
in citizens' clothing. The mien of Campbell was stern* 
authoritative and dignified. Shelby was grave, taciturn and 
determined. Sevier, vivacious, ardent, [impulsive and ener- 
getic. McDowell, moving about with the ease and dignity 
of a colonial magistrate, inspiring veneration for his virtues 
and an indignant sympathy for the wrongs of himself and 
his co-exiles. All were completely wrapt in the absorbing 
subject of the revolutionary struggle, then approaching its 
acme, and threatening the homes and families of the moun- 
taineers themselves. Never did mountain recess contain 
within it, a loftier or a more enlarged patriotism — never a 
cooler or more determined courage. 

In the seclusion of their homes in the West, many of the 
volunteers had only heard of war at a distance, and had 
been in undisputed possession of that independence for which 
their Atlantic countrymen were now struggling. The near 
approach of Ferguson had awakened them from their secu- 
rity, and indignant at the violence and depredations of his 
followers, they were now embodied to chastise and avenge 
them. This they had done at the suggestion and upon the 
motion of their own leaders, without any requisition from 
the governments of America or the officers of the continental 
army. Indeed, at this moment, the American army in the 
South was almost annihilated, and the friends of the Ameri-^ 
can cause were discouraged and despondent. The British 
"Were everywhere triumphant, and the loyalists, under the 
pretence of promoting the service of his Britannic Majesty, 
"were in many sections perpetrating the greatest outrage and 
cruelty upon the whigs. The attitude of these volunteer 
detachments was as forlorn as it was gallant. At the time 
of their embodiment, and for several days after they had 
marched against the enemy, flushed with recent victories 
and confident of further conquest, it was not known to them 
that a single armed corps of Americans was marshalled for 

9M DivhrB pftOtEonoir mrLOun). 

their assistance or relief. The crisis was; indeed, dark and 
ffloomy. Bat indomitable patriots were present, prepared 
and willing to meet it. The personnel of no army could have 
bten better. There was strength, enterprise^ courage and 
enthusiasm. The ardour and impetuosity and rashness of 
yooth were there, to project and execute, with the wisdom of 
mature age, to temper and direct them ; the caution of the 
fkther and the irrepressible daring of the son. * 

"Without delay, early on the morning of the next day after 
its rendezvous at Watauga, the little army was on the march. 
Before the troops left the camp, the officers requested that 
ihey should assemble for the purpose of commending the army 
to Divine protection and guidance. They promptly com- 
plied with the request. Prayer, solemn and appropriate, was 
ojBTered by a clergyman present, and the riflemen mounted 
tbeir horses and started on the distant campaign. 

After leaving the rendezvous at the Sycamore Shoals, the 
troops took up the line of march ; passing along the valley 
i^RA i ^^ ^^P Creek, they encamped the first night at the 
I mill of Mr. Matthew Tolbot. They pursued Bright's 
trace across the Yellow Mountain. The staff* was incom- 
plete; rather, there was no staff*; no quarter-master, no 
commissary, no surgeon, no chaplain. As in all their Indian 
campaigns, being mounted and unencumbered with baggage, 
their motions were rapid. Each man, each officer, set out 
with his trusty Deckhard on his shoulder. " A shot pouch, 
a tomahawk, a knife, a knapsack and a blanket, completed 
the outfit. At night, the earth aff*orded him a bed and the 
heavens a covering ; the mountain stream quenched his 
thirst ; while his provision was procured from supplies ac- 
quired on the march by his gun." Some beeves were driven 
in the rear, to furnish subsistence while in the settlements, 
but they impeded the rapidity of the march, and, after the 
first day, were abandoned. After passing the mountain, the 
troops, sparing the property of the whigs, quartered and 
subsisted upon the tories. 

On the second day, two of the men were missed. They 
bad deserted, and would doubtless escape to the enemy, and 
apprise them of the approach of the mountain men, and the 


route by which the march would be conducted. Owing to 
this apprehension, which was subsequently ascertained to be 
well fbooded, the troops, after passing the top of the Alle- 
ghany, left the frequented trace, and turned to the left, de- 
scending by a worse path than was ever before travelled by 
an array of horsemen. Reaching the foot of the mountain, 
they fell in with Colonel Cleveland, of Wilkes county, and 
CSolonel Winston, of Surry county, North-Carolina, with three 
or four hundred men, who were creeping along through the 
woods, desiring to fall in with and join any party that might 
be going to oppose the enemy. 

After reaching the settled country east of the mountain, 
additions were constantly made to. their numbers — of officers 
with men, and of officers without men, and of men without 
officers ; some few on horses — most of them on foot — ^but 
all eager to find and fight the enemy. 

The junction of the party from Wilkes and Surry took place 
about the first of October. The second day following was so 
wet that the army could not move. The delay was improved 
by the commanding officers, meeting, as if by instinct, in the 
evening and holding a council. At this meeting it was deter- 
mined to send to head-quarters, wherever it might be, for a 
general officer to take the command of the several corps ; and 
that in the meantime they would meet in council every day 
to determine oh the measures to be pursued. Col. Shelby 
was not well satisfied with these regulations ; and in support 
of his objections, observed to the council that they were then 
in striking distance of the enemy, who lay at that time at Gil- 
bert Town, sixteen or eighteen miles distant — that Ferguson 
'Would either attack or avoid them until he gathered together 
:sach a force that they dared not approach. He therefore 
advised that they should act with promptness and decision, 
and proposed that they would appoint one of their own num- 
ber to command and march the next day and attack the 
enemy at Gilbert Town. He further proposed that Colonel 
CSampbell was known to him as a gentleman of good sense 
and warmly attached to the cause of the country — was 
the only officer from . Virginia and commanded the largest 
ngimentin the army, — and that he would accordingly nomi- 

S8S raMUflov uiAvn oiuubkt towk, 

Bate him as their chief. Shelby made this proposition for the 
purpose of quieting the expectations of some that Colonel 
McDowell should assume the command. He was the senior 
officer present, the army was then in his military district, and 
he had commanded during the past summer against the same 
enemy — ^was, moreover, a brave man and a decided friend to 
the American cause. But he was considered too far advanced 
in life and too inactive a man to take charge of such an enter- 
prise, against such an antagonist as was immediately before 
them. McDowell proposed that he would be the messenger 
to go for a general officer. He started immediately, and his 
brother, Joseph McDowell, took command of his men. On 
his way, about eight miles from camp, he fell in with Colonel 
. ^ames Williams, of South-Carolina, and a number of other 
field officers from that state, with near four hundred men. 
The intelligence of this opportune reinforcement McDowell 
oonununicated by express. 

^ king's mountain. 


Gilbert Town is distinguished as the extreme point of British 
invasion in the direction of the home of the mountain men. 
To that place Ferguson, in the execution of his vain threat 
to invade and burn up their villages, had advanced and there 
erected his majesty's standard, with the double purpose of 
. securing the co-operation of the loyalists and of preventing 
the rising and concentratioa of the whigs. At that place he 
received intelligence of the avalanche of indignant patriotism 
accumulating along the mountain, and ready to precipitate 
itself upon and overwhelm his army. From that place, en- 
terprising as he was, he found it necessary to fall back and 
seek safety by a junction with the main army of Cornwallis, 
at Charlotte. Every movement of Ferguson, from the time 
he left his camp at Gilbert Town, indicated his apprehension 
of the impending danger. He commanded the loyalist militia, 
he importuned them, he held out the language of promise 
and of threatening, to stimulate their allegiance and their 
courage. He called in vain. A cloud was gathering upon 
the mountain, and his loyal militia knew that it portended a 
storm and a disastrous overthrow. Ferguson changed his 


langaage and appealed to them in the words of bitter reproach 
and contemptuous ridicule. On his retreat he issued a circu« 
lar letter to the tory leaders, informing them of an '' inunda- 
tion of barbarians" — calls the patriotic riflemen *' the dregs 
of mankind/* and importunes his loyalists thus : ^ If you wish 
to live and bear the name of men, gfesp your arms in a mo- 
ment and run into camp. The backwater men have crossed 
the mountain, McDowell, Hampton, Shelby and Cleveland 
are at their head — so that you know what you will have to 
depend upon. If you choose to be degraded for ever and ever 
by a set of mongrels, say so at once, and let your women turn 
their backs upon you and look out for real men to protect 

Ferguson, after breaking up his camp at Gilbert Town, had 

despatched Abram Collins and Quinn, to Lord Com- 

wallis, informing him of his critical situation and begging a re- 
inforcement. After despatching his letter, Ferguson marched, 
on the fourth, over Main Broad River to the Cow Pens. On the 
fifth he continued his march to Tate's, since Dear's Ferry, 
where he agaih crossed and encamped about a mile above. 
On the sixth, he marched about fourteen miles and formed 
his camp on an eminei.oe, where he waited for the expected 
reinforcements, of loyalists in the neighbourhood, and of 
regulars from the royal army. The loyalty of the former 
quailed at the approach of the riflemen, and in this hour of 
need their assistance was withheld ; they remained out of 
Ferguson^s camp. 

On Wednesday, the fourth of October, the riflemen ad- 
vanced to Gilbert Town. But Ferguson had decamped, 
having permitted many of the loyalists to visit their families, 
under engagement to join him on the shortest notice. 
In the meantime, he took a circuitous march through the 
neighbourhoods, in which the tories principally resided, to 
gain time and avoid the riflemen until his forces could be 
collected and had joined him. This retrograde movement 
betrayed his apprehensions, and pointed out the necessity of a 
vigorous eflfor^to overtake him. Having gained a know- 
ledge of his designs, the principal officers determined, in 
eooncil, to pursue him with all possible despatch. Accord- 

884 wiHJfiMiv niuwuuws amb oamoxiouiy 

ingly, two nights before the action, the officers were engaged 
aU night in selecting the best men, the best horses and the 
best rifles, and at the dawn of day took Ferguson^s trail, 
and pursued him with niae hundred andten^ expert marks- 
men, while those on foot and with weak horses were ordered 
to. follow on more leisulely. 

On the pursuit, the Americans passed near where several 
large parties of tories were collecting. At the Cow Pens 
sixty men under CoL Hambright and M^or Chronicle, of 
Tryon county^ and Col, Williams, with the South-Carolina 
troops, joined them. Here they were informed that a body 
of six hundred tories were assembled at Migor Gibbs^s, four 
miles to their right, and would join Ferguson the next day. 
These they did not take time to molest The riflemen from 
the mountains had turned out to catch Ferguson. He was 
their object ; and for the last thirty-six hours of the pursuit, 
they never alighted from their horses but once to refresh 
iat an hour at the Cow Pens, although, the day of the battle 
was so extremely wet that the men could only keep their 
guns dry, by wrapping their, sacks, blankets and hunting 
shirts around the locks, thus exposing their bodies to a 
heavy and incessant rain. The trail every hour became 
more fresh, and the Americans hurried with eagerness after 
the prey, which they determined should not escape their 
grasp. The advance met some unarmed men, who were 
fresh from Ferguson's camp, a short halt was made, and 
these men were closely examined. From them it was ascer- 
tained that the enemy was encamped three miles before 
them, and were to march next morning to Lord Cornwallis's 
head-quarters ; bis position was accura^ly described, and 
the route to the camp minutely given. Col. Williams and 
soma of his men were well acquainted with the shape of the 
ground and the approaches to it. 

It was now after twelve o'clock ; the rain had ceased, the 
clouds were passing ofi*, the sun shone brightly, and nature 
seemed to smile upon the enterprise at hand. It was deter- 

* I quote ^m the Shelby papers in my possession, and from vhich many of 
te details of this ezpeditioa have been derived. Haywood has extracted from 
ifaflBi alio. 


roiqed to inarch at once upon the camp, and decide the con- 
flict without further rest or refreshment. Each man was 
ordered to ** tie up his over-coat and blanket, throw the pri- 
ming out of his pan, pick his touch-hole, prime anew, ex- 
amine his bullets, and see that every thing was in readiness 
for battle." While this was being done the officers agreed 
upon the general plan of attack, which was to surround the 
eminence and make a simultaneous assault upon every part 
of the camp. The men were soon in their saddles and upon 
their march. When within a mile of the battle ground an 
express from Ferguson was arrested, on whom was found a 
despatch to Lord Gornwallis, urging him to send immediate 
reinforcements and stating the number under his command ; 
and that he was securely encamped upon a hill, which, in 
in honour of his majesty, he had named King's Mountain, and 
that if all the rebels out of h — 11 should attack him, they would 
not drive him from it. The contents of the despatch were, 
with the exception of the number of the enemy, communi- 
cated to the riflemen, the march wad resumed, their pace 
quickened and they rode in a gallop within view of the camp 
of Ferguson. 

A closer examination of the ground and the position of the 
enemy, demonstrated the feasibility of the plan of attack 
already concerted by the officers. More minute arrange- 
ments were immediately made and carried into execution. 
It was decided that the troops commanded by Winston, 
McDowell, Sevier, Shelby and Campbell, being something 
more than half of the whole number of the assailants, after 
tying their horses should file to the right, and pass the moun- 
tain nearly out oPreach of the enemy's guns, and continue 
around it till they should meet the rest of the troops encir- 
oling the mountain on its other side, and led by Hambright 
and Chronicle, and followed by Cleveland and Williams; 
after which each command was to face to the front, raise 
the Indian war whoop, and advance upon the enemy. Ac- 
cordingly the troops moved forward, and passing up a ravine 
between two rocky knolls, came in full view of the enemy's 
camp above them, and about one hundred poles in front 
Here they dismounted, and having tied their horses, left a 

•mall guard with thenL The right wing or eiriaiiut was U 
by V/inuUm and Sevier, the left by CleTelaad and WUliaaH; 
the centre was composed of Campbeirs men on the wi^bi, 
and Shelby's on the left. In this order each oflicer haTiag 
formed bis ranks, led off at the same time to the position 
signed him, under pilots selected from CoL WilUam^a 
who were familiar with the ground. On its march 
th^ mountain, the right column discovered that there 
two gaps in the ridge at the enemy's left flank— one about 
twenty poles from it» the other fifty. It was decided to pas 
through the latter. About the time they entered it, the eDemf 
began to fire upon them. The fire at first did not sUtraot 
attention, until some of Shelby's men being woondedf that 
officer and McDowell determined to return the fire, and be- 
fore they had crossed the ridge, broke off towards the enemy, 
through the gap nearest to his camp, and discharged their 
rifles with great effect. The rest of the column under 
Campbell ascended the mountain, and poured in a deadly 
flre upon the enemy posted upon its summit. The firing be- 
came so heavy as to attract the attention of Ferguson, who 
immediately brought up a part of his regulars from the other 
end of his line, and a brisk charge was made upon the Ame- 
rican right by the British regulars and some of the torias. 
This charge pushed McDowell, Shelby and CampbelU down 
the mountain. At this moment, the left column under Ham- 
bright, Chronicle, Cleveland and Williams, had driven in the 
enemy's picquets at the other extremity of the encampment^ 
and advancing up the mountain, poured in a well directed 
fire on the enemy protected here by their wagons and some 
slight defences, and commanded by Fergnon himself. Dn- 
poister, his second in command, was immediately recalled, 
ordered into line on the top of the ridge, and directed to make 
a charge with all the regulars upon the Americans at that 
end of the encampment. On his passage to the relief of Fer- 
guson, Dupoister received a galling fire from the South-Caro- 
linians under Williams. The regulars were soon rallied, 
made a desperate charge, and drove the riflemen to the foot 
of the hill. Here Mi\jor Chronicle fell. 
In the meantime, the recall of Dupoister from the charge 


at the other extremity of the mountain, gave the appearance 
there of a retreat on the part of the enemy, and the men 
nnder Shelby, McDowell and Cam^)bell, having recovered 
from the slight disorganization produced by the first charge, 
rallied to the pursuit. The cry was raised — " huzza, boys, 
they are retreating ; come on !** They advanced with great 
firmness up the hill, almost to the lines of the encampment, 
and for some time maintained a deadly conflict with the tory 
riflemen. Ferguson, as before, decided to resort again to the 
bayonet. But the marksmen had so thinned the ranks of the 
regulars, that the expedient was adopted of trimming the 
handles of the butcher knives, and adapting them to the 
muzzles of the tory rifles, and of thus using them in the 
charge. With the number of his bayonets thus enlarged, 
Dupoister returned to his first position, and made another 
charge. It was short and feebly executed, and the regulars 
returned within their lines. 

About this time the front of the two American columns 
had met, and the army of Ferguson was surrounded by the 
riflemen. Their firing became incessant and general in all 
quarters, but especially at the two ends of the enemy's line. 
Sevier pressed against its centre, and was charged upon by 
the regulars. The conflict here became stubborn, and drew to 
it much of the enemy's force. This enabled Shelby and 
Campbell to reach and hold the crest of the mountain. 

On all sides, now, the fire was brisk and deadly, and the 
charges with the bayonet, though less vigorous, were fre- 
quent. In all cases where the enemy charged the Amerir 
cans on one side c^ the hill, those on the other thought he 
was retreating, ana advanced near to the summit. But in 
all these movements, the left of Ferguson's line was gradu- 
ally receding, and the Americans were plying their rifles 
with terrible effect. Ferguson was still in the heat of 
battle ; with characteristic coolness and daring, he ordered 
Captain Dupoister to reinforce a position about one hundred 
yards distant, with his regulars ; but before they reached it, 
they were thinned too much by the American rifles, to ren- 
der any effectual support. He then ordered his cavalry to 
moonty with a view of making a desperate onset at their 


head. Bat these oaly presented a better mark for the rifl^ 
and fell as fast as they could monnt their horses. He rode 
from «ne end of his line to the other, enconraging his men 
to pr^ong the conflict. With desperate coarage, he passed 
from one exposed point to another of equal danger. Ha 
carried in his wounded hand, a shrill sounding silver whistlj^ 
whose signal was univertelly known through the ranks, wasof 
inunense service throughout the battle, and gave a kind of 
ubiquity to his movements.* 

But the Americans having reached the top of the moon- 
tain, were gradually compressing the enemy, and the line of 
Ferguson's encampment was sensibly contracted. A flag 
was raised by the tories in token of surrender. Ferguaoi^ 
rode up to it, and pulled it down. A second flag was ndsfd 
at the other ^end of the line. He rode there too, and oat it 
down with his sword. He was frequently admonishad bj 
Dupoister to surrender ; but his proud spirit could not deiga 
to give up to raw and undisciplined militia. When .the se-' 
cond flag was cut down, Dupoister renewed his admonitioB. 
To this he replied by declaring, he would never surrender to 
such a damned set of banditti as the mountain men. These 
men, while they admired the unyielding spirit of Ferguson, had 
noticed, that whenever his voice or whistle wasiieard, the 
enemy were inspirited to another rally. They believed that 
while he survived, his desperate courage would not permit 
a surrender. He fell soon after, and immediately expired. 

The forward movement of. all the American columns 
brought them to a level with the enemy's guns, which here- 
tofore, in most instances, h^ overshot their heads. . Tha 
horizontal fire of the regulars was now Ibnsiderably fatal ; 
but the rapid advance of the riflemen soon surrounded both 
them and the tories, who b^ing crowded close together, and 
cooped up into a narrow space by the .surrounding pressure 
of the American troops, and fatally galled by their incessant 
fire, lost all hope from further resistance. Dupoister, who 
succeeded Ferguson in command, perceiving that jGa.rther 
struggle was in . vain, raised the white flag, and exclaimed 
for quarters. A general cessation of the American fire fol- 
lowed ; but this cessation was not comidete. Some of the 



^onng* men did not understand the meaning of a white flag ; 
)ther8 who did, knew that other flags had been raised before, 
uid were qaickly taken down. Shelby halloed out to them 
;o throw down their guns, as all would understand that as a 
larrender. This was immediately done. The arms were 
low lying in front of the prisoners, without any orders how 
o dispose of them. Col. Shelby, seeing the facility with 
¥bich the enemy could resume their guns, exclaimed : ** Good 
Sod I what can we do in this confusion ?" " We can order 
he prisoners from 'their arms,** said Sawyers. '' Y^s," said 
Shelby, *• that can be done." The prisoners were aceord- 
y marched to another place, and there surrounded by a 
looble guard. 

The battle of King's Mountain lasted about an hour. The 
088 of the enemy was two hundred and twenty-five killed, 
me hundred and eighty wounded, seven hundred prisoners, 
ifteen hundred stand of arms, and a great many horses and 
wagons loaded with supplies, and booty of every kind, taken 
>y the plundering tories from the wealthy whigs. 

General Bernard, an officer under Napoleon, and after- 
jrards in the United States Engineer Service, on examining 
he battle ground of King^s Mountain, said : " The Ameri- 
)an8f by their victory in that engagement, erected a monu- 
cent to perpetuate the memory of the brave men who had 
alien there ; and the shape of the hill itself, would be an 
)temal monument of the military genius and skill of Col. 
?*erguson, in selecting a position so well adapted for de- 
ence ; and that no other plan of assault but that pursued by 
he mountain men, could have succeeded against him."* 

The loss of the Americans was thirty killed, and about 
wice that number wounded. Of the former, was Col. Wil- 
iams of South-Carolina. He fell a victim to the true Pal- 
aetto spirit, and intemperate eagerness for battle. Towards 
he close of the engagement, he espied Ferguson riding 

*11ie aooomt of the battle at King's Moantain, as giveii, has been taken from 
ba Shelby papers, the written statements of Qenerals Graham and Lenoir, Mr. 
^oalo^a EsMty, and manuscript narratiyes of several of the riflemen, who partici- 
■M in il The official report has been seen for the first time, bj this writer, in 
' WImmVii V Noffth'Carolina," jnst cot of prew. It is girtn at page S43. 

S40 wnruioDfT at kxho*i iioiTiTADr. 

near the line, and dashed towards him with the gallant de- 
termination of a personal encounter. ** I will kill Perga- 
son, or die in the attempt P* exclaimed Williams, and spar- 
ring hia horse in the direction of the enemy, received a ballet 
as he crossed their line. He survived till he heard that his 
antagonist was killed, and his camp surrendered ; and amidst 
the shouts of victory by his triumphant countrymen, said : 
^ I die contented,** and with a smile upon his countenance^ 

Major Chronicle, who, with CoL Hambright, led the left 
wing, was, in passing round the end of the mountain, much 
exposed to the fire of the enemy above them, and little more 
than one hundred yards distant He fell early in the engage- 
ment, at the foot of the hill, near the junction of the two 
streams, while gallantly repulsing' the British charge. A 
plain monument attests the grateful remembrance of his 
countrymen It bears this inscription : 

To the memoir of 


Who were killed at this place, on the seventh day <^ October, 1780, 

fighting in defence of America. 
On the other side of the numument, fadng the battle ground, is in« 


An officer of his Britannic Majesty, 

Was defeated and killed 

At this place, 

On the 7th day of 

October, 1780. 

Of Col. CampbelPs regiment. Lieutenant Edmondson, two 
others of the same name and family, and ten of their asso- 
ciates in arms, were killed. The names of the Virginia offi- 
cers are Captains Dysart, Colville, Edmonston, Beattie and 
Craig; Lieutenants/ Edmonston, Bo wen ; Ensign Robert 
Campbell, who killed the British Adjutant McGinnis at the 
head of a charging party. Captain Robert Edmonston said 
to one of his men, John McCrosky, that he did not like his 


place, and broke forward to the hottest part of the«battle, 
and there received the charge of Dupoister's regulars, dis- 
charged his rifle, clubbed his gun, knocked the musket oat 
of the hands of one of the soldiers, and seizing him by the 
neck, made him his prisoner, and brought him to the foot of 
the hill. Returning again to the British line, he received a 
mortal wound in the breast. After the surrender, McCrosky 
went in search of his captain, and told him the battle was 
oyer, and the tories were defeated. Edmonston nodded satis- 
faction, and died. 

Of the wounded in Col. Shelby's regiment, was his bro- 
ther, Moses Shelby, who, in a bold attempt to storm the ene- 
my*! camp, leaped upon one of the wagons out of which the 
breast-work was formed, and was wounded. Fagan and 
some others, sufi*ered in the same way. Col. Snodgrass, late 
of Sallivan county, belonged to Col. Shelby's regiment. His 
captains were Elliot, Maxwell and Webb ; Lieutenant 

Of the regiment from Washington county, and commanded 
by Col. Sevier, the captains were his two brothers, Valen- 
tine Sevier, Robert Sevier, Joel Callahan, George Doherty 
and George Russell ; Lieutenant Isaac Lane. Capt. Robert 
Sevier was wounded in the abdomen, and died the second or 
third day after, and was buried at Bright's. 

Among the privates, were four others of the Sevier family, 
"viz : Abraham Sevier, Joseph Sevier, and two of Col, Se- 
irier's sons, Joseph and James ; the latter in his sixteenth 

William Lenoir (since General Lenoir) was a captain un- 
der Winston. He was encouraging the men who had re- 
ceived Dupoister^s second isharge, to load well, and make a 
l>old push against their assailants, when he received a slight 
'wound in his left arm, and another in his side, while a bul- 
let passed through his hair, just below the tie, without touch- 
ing the skin. 

In Ferguson^s' possession was found, after his defeat, the 
following letter to him from Lieut. Col. Cruger, commanding at 
Kinety-Six. The original is mutilated, and a few words or 
eyphers are illegible. 



^ Sir — ^The night before last I retorned from the Ceded Landa, having 
done that busineaa pretty effectually. Your several letters I am now in 
possession of. This instant I receiv^ what you wrote the 30th Septem- 
ber. I shall repeat for the militia to turn out their 

mz months' men ; — dear ,. . that if you get aa 

many as will defend the from so considerable fores 

as you understand is coming from the mountains, is as many, in my 
opinion, as in reason we have a right to expect, Qr. will join yon. Onr 
force of soldiers here does not exceed in number what in your last letter 

IB mentioned to march ... 1 don't see bow 

YOU can possibly the country and its n^hbour- 

hood that you . . : now in. The game from the mountains is just 
what I expected. Am glad to find you so capitally supported by the 
friends to government in North-Carolina. I flattered myself theT woaKd 
have been equal to the mountain lads, and that no further call for the 
drfemive would have been on this part of the Province. I b^n te think 
our views for the present rather larfe. We have been led to thia, pjo- 
bably, in expecting too much from ue militia — as, for instance, you call 
for '. . . . . r^;iment8. They are but just ^ that number ; • 

^ Farewell believe me, very sinc^k^ly and with much regard, . 

. . • • • Dr. Sir, ^ 

" Yr. Very hum Ve Ser'vt, 

Crugsr, Lieut CoL Com'g. 06* 
Addressed, ^' On his Majesty's Service, 

Colonel Ferguson, 

Commanding Detachment 

Of his Majesty's Troop, Ac." 

The victory at King's Mountain was complete. Not one 
of the enemy escaped during the battle : from its commence- 
ment they were surrounded and could not escape. The army 
encamped upon the battle ground the night of the seventb. 
They had more prisoners than whigs with whom to guard 
them. They were in the neighbourhood of several parties of 
tories, and had reason to expect that Tarleton or some rein- 
forcements from Lord Cornwallis, would attempt either to 
pursue or intercept them. The next day was the Sabbath. 
Its dawn was solemnized by the burial of the dead. This 
mournful duty performed, the enemy's wagons were drawn 
by the men across their camp fires, and after they were con- 
sumed the return march was commenced. 

As there was no other method of transporting the arms that 
had been captured, the strong and healthy prisoners were re- 
quired to carry them. The flints were taken from the locks, 


and the most vigilant espionage kept over the prisoners by 
the troops, who marched the whole day at a present. No 
escape or rescue was attempted. At sundown they met the 
men they had leilt on foot on their hurried march to the bat- 
tle* The march wa^ continued pretty close to the mountain 
till the fourteenth, when a court-martial was held at Bicker- 
staff's Old Field, in Rutherford county, over some of the pri- 
soners. A few for desertion, others for greater crimes and 
enormities, were convicted and sentenced to be hung. The 
number brought under the gallows was thirty. Nine of these 
only were executed. Among these were Col. Mills, a tory 
leader, and Captain Grimes, a refugee tory from Watauga. 
The rest were respited. 

Apprehending pursuit by Lord Comwallis, whose head- 
qnarters were close at hand across the Catawba, in Meck- 
lenburg county, and determined to escape with the eight 
hundred prisoners and fifteen hundred stand of arms taken 
at King's Mountain, the colonels led off their victorious 
troops, with their valuable spoils, to some place of safety in 
the direction of Virginia. Sevier and his comrades from the 
West recrossed the mountain, and remained in arms upon 
their own frontier. Campbell, Shelby and Cleveland, con- 
tinned the march, with the prisoners, in search of some posi- 
tion of greater security. Passing through Hillsboro', where 
General Gates then had his head-quarters, these officers made 
out to that unfortunate commander — 

''A STATXMKKT of the proceedings of the Western Army, from the 25th 
of September, 1780, to the reduction of Major Ferguson, and the 
army under his command. 

'K>n receiving intelligence that Major Ferguson had advanced as hieh 
up as Gilbert lown, in Rutherford county, and threatened to cross the 
mountaiiis to the Western waters, Col. William Campbell, with four 
hnndred men from Washington county, of Virginia ; Col. Isaac Shelby, 
with two hundred and forty men from Sullivan county, North-Carolina, 
and Lieutenant-CoL John Sevier, with two hundred and forty men from 
Washington county, Korth-Carolina, assembled at Watauga on the 25th 
of September, where they were joined by Col. Charles McDowell, with 
one hundred and sixty men from the counties of Burke and Ruther- 
fcHrd, who had fled before the enemy to the Western waters. 

^We began our march on the 26th, and on the 30th, we were joined 
by CoL Cleveland, on the Catawba River, with three hundred and Gttj 
men bom the counties of Wilkes and Surry. No one ofib^ having 


Sroperly a right to the oommand-in-chief, ou the Ist of October we 
eepatched an express to Major General Gates, iDforming him of our 
situation, and requested him to send a general officer to take command 
of the whole. In the meantime Col. Campbell was chosen to act as 
commandant till such general officer should arrive. 

^We reached the Cow Pens, on the Broad River, in South-Carolinay 
where we were joined by CoL James Williams, on the^ evening of the 
6th October, who informed us that the enemy lay encamped somewhere 
near the Cherokee Ford of Broad River, about thirty miles distant from 
us. By a council of the principal officers, it was then thought advisable 
to pursue the enemy that night with nine hundred of the b^t horsemeD, 
and leave the weak horses and footmen to follow as fast as possible. We 
began our march with nine hundred of the best men about eight o'clock 
the same evening, marched all night, and came up with the enemy 
about three o'clock, P. M. of the 7th, who lay encamped on the top it 
King's Mountain, twelve miles north of the Cherokee Ford, in the oon- 
^dence they could not be forced from so advantageous a post Previous 
to the attack, in our march the following disposition was made : 

'^Col. Shelby's regiment formed a column in the centre on the left ; 
CoL Campbell's another on the right ; part of Col. Cleveland's la- 
ment, headed by Major Winston and Col. Sevier's, formed a lar^ 
column on the right wing ; the other part of Col. Cleveland's regiment 
composed the left wing. In this order we advanced, and got within a 
quarter of a mile of £e enemy before we were discovered. CoL Shel- 
by's and Col. Campbell's regiments b^;an the attack, and kept up a fire 
on the enemy while the right and left wings were advancing forward to 
surround them. The engagement lasted an hour and ^y^ minutes, the 
greatest part of which time a heavy and incessant fire was kept up on 
both sides. Our men in some parts where the regulars fought^ were 
obliged to give way a small distance two or three times, but rallied 
and returned with additional ardour to the attack. The troops upon 
the right having gained the summit of the eminence, obliged the enemy 
to retreat along the top of the ridge where Col. Cleveland commanded, 
and were there stopped by his brave men. A flag ■ was immediately 
hoisted by Captain Dupoister, the commanding officer, (Major Ferffuson 
having been killed a little before,) for a surrender. Our fire immediately 
ceased, and the enemy laid down their arms — the greater part of them 
loadedr— and surrendered themselves to us prisoners at discretion. It 
appears from their own provision returns for that day, found in their 
camp, that their whole force consisted of eleven hundred and twenty- 
five men, out of which they sustained the following loss : — Of the regu- 
* lars, one major, one captain, two lieutenants and fifteen privates killed, 
thirty-five privates wounded. Left on the ground, not able to march, 
two capt^ns, four lieutenants, three ensigns, one surgeon, ^\q sergeants ; 
three corporals, one drummer and fifty-nine privates taken prisoners. 

^Loss of the tories, two colonels, three capt^ns, and two hundred and 
one privates killed ; one major and one hundred and twenty-seven pri- 
vates wounded and left on the ground not able to march ; one colonel, 
twelve captains, eleven lieutenants, two ensigns, one quarter-roaster, 
one adjutant, two coipmissaries, eighteen sergeants and six hundred pri- 


vates taken prisoners. Total loss of the enemy, eleven hundred and fi?e 
men at King's Mountain. 

'^Given under our hands at camp. William Campbell, 

Isaac Shelbt, 
Bekjamin Cleveland. . 
"Hie loaa on our side — 
Killed — 1 colonel, Wounded — 1 major, 

1 major, 3 captains, 

1 captain, 3 lieutenants, 

2 lieutenants, 53 privates. 

4 ensigns, 
19 privates. 

28 total killed." 

60 total wounded. 

On the 10th, Cornwallis ordered Tarleton to march with 
the light infantry, the British Legion and a three-pounder to 
assist Ferguson, no certain intelligence having arrived of his 
defeat Tarleton's instructions directed him to reinforce 
Ferguson wherever he could find him, and to draw his corps 
to the Catawba, if after the junction advantage could not be 
obtained over the mountaineers ; or upon the certainty of his 
defeat, at all events, to oppose the entrance of the victorious 
Americans into South-Caroliita. Intelligence of Ferguson's 
defeat reached Cornwallis, and he formed a sudden determi- 
nation to retreat from Charlotte. Tarleton was recalled, 
and North-Carolina was for the present evacuated. 

The expedition against Ferguson was chivalric in the ex- 
treme. It was undertaken against a distinguished and skil- 
ful leader, at the head of a large force which could easily have 
been doubled. It was composed of raw and undisciplined 
troops, hastily drawn together, against fearful odds .and 
under the most appalling discouragements. 

The expedition was also eminently patriotic. When i^ 
was projected, disaster and defeat had shrouded the South 
with an impenetrable cloud of despondence and gloom. 
Ruined expectations and blasted hopes, hung like a pall over 
the paralyzed energies of the friends of America. 

The expedition was, moreover, entirely successful. The 
first object of it, Ferguson, was killed and his whole army 
either captured or destroyed. This gave new spirit to the 
desponding Americans, and frustrated the well concerted 

MG HumriNo suist of thb yomimEBS. 

scheme 6f strengthening the British army by the toriiss in its 

The whole enterprise reflects the highest honour upon the 
patriotism that conceived and the courage that executed it. 
Nothing can surpass the skill and gallantry of the officers, 
nothing the valour of the men who achieved the victory. 
The whole history of the campaign demonstrates that the 
men who undertook it, were not actuated by any apprehen- 
sion that Ferguson would attempt the execution of his idle 
threat against themselves. For, to these mountaineers, noth- 
ing than such a scheme would make prettier game for their 
rifles ; nothing more desirable than to entice such an enemy 
from his pleasant roads, rich plantations, and gentle climate, 
with his ponderous baggage, valuable armory, and the booty 
and spoils of his loyalists, into the very centre of their own 
fastnesses, to hang upon his flank, to pick up his stragglers^ 
to cut ofi* his foragers, to make short and desperate sallies 
upon his camp, and finally, to make him a certain prey with- 
out a struggle and without a loss. 

Nor was it the authority or influence of the state, that led 
to this hazardous service. Many of them knew not whether 
to any or to what state they belonged. Insulated by moun- 
tain barriers, and in consequent seclusion from their Eastern 
friends, they were living in the enjoyment of primitive inde- 
pendence, where British taxation and aggression had not 
reached. It was a gratuitous patriotism that incited the 
back-woodsmen. In those days, to know that American 
liberty was invaded, and that the only apparent alternative 
in the case was American independence or subjugation, was 
enough to nerve their hearts to the boldest pulsations of free- 
'dom, and ripen their purposes to the fullest determination of 
putting down the aggressor.* 

From the colonels to the privates, all of the mountain men 
were attired in hunting shirts. Speaking of this costume, 
Mr. Custis says : 

^ The hunting shirt, the emblem of the Revolution, is now banished 
from the national military, hut still liogere among the hunters and pio- 
neers of the Far West This national coetume was adopted in the out- 

• Foster's Bvaj. 



set of the Revolution, and was recommended, bj Washington, to the 
army in the most eventful period of the war of IndependeDce. It was 
a favourite garb with many of the officers of the line. The British beheld 
these sons of the mountain and the forest, thus attired, with wonder and 
admiration. Their hardy looks, their tall athletic forms, their marehing 
in Indian file with the light and noiseless step peculiar to their pursuit of 
woodland game, but above all, to European eyes, their singular and 
picturesque costume, the hunting shirt, with its fringes, wampum belts, 
leggins and moccasins, the tomahawk and knife ; these, with the well 
known death-dealing aim of. these matchless marksmen, created, in the 
European military, a degree of awe and respect for the hunting shirt 
"which lasted with the war of the Revolution. And should not Ameri- 
cans feel proud of the garb, and hail it as national, in which theit 
fathers endured such toil and privation in the mighty struggle for inde- 
pendence — the march across the wilderness — the triumphs of Saratoga 
jtnd King's Mountain ? But a little while, and, of a truth, the hunt- 
ing shirt, the venerable emblem of the Revolution, will have disap- 
peared from among the Americans, and will be found only in museums, 
like anoient armour, exposed to the gaze of the curious." 


In Tennessee, the hunting shirt is still worn by the volun- 
teer, and occasionally forms the costume of the elite corps 
of a battalion or regiment. It once constituted, very com- 
monly, a part of the citizen's dress. It is now seldom seen 
in private life, though admirably adapted to the comeliness, 
convenience and comfort of the farmer, hunter and pedes- 
trian. In all the early campaigns in the West, and in the 
•war of 1812, the soldiery uniformly w^ore it. Many of them 
did so in the war with Mexico, but the volunteer's hunting 
shirt is evidently going out of use. 

Important results followed the defeat of Ferguson. Emis- 
saries* had been despatched to the loyalists on Deep and 
Haw Rivers, in advance of Lord Cornwallis, with instruc- 
tions to hold themselves in readiness to act in concert with 
the British army. His lordship had boasted that Georgia 
and South-Carolina were subdued, and that North-Carolina 
"was but the stepping block to the conquest of Virginia. 
There was no army south of the Delaware to oppose him. 
In the realization of this boast, he had passed Charlotte and 
was advancing to Salisbury, where he had directed Ferguson 
to join him with the three or four thousand loyalists in his 
train. On his route, Cornwallis received the intelligence of 

* Steadman 


the catastrophe at King's Moantain. Romoar had magnified 
the namber of the riflemen, and converted their return with 
the prisoners, into a march upon himself with a force three 
dumsand strong. Abandoning, for the present, his progrew 
northward, he ordered an immediate retreat, marched all 
night in the utmost confusion, crossed the Catawba^ and 
retrograded as far as Winnsboro', eighty or one hundred 
miles in his rear.* There, for the present, he confined his 
operations to the protection of the country between Camden 
and Ninety-Six, nor did he attempt to advance until . rein- 
forced by General Leslie, three months afterwards, with two 
thousand men from the Chesapeake. In the meantime^ the 
whigs of North-Carolina, under General W. L. Daiadeon 
and Captain .W. R. Davie, assembled in considerable force 
at New Providence and the Waxaw. General Smallwood» 
with Morgan's light corps, ^nd the Maryland line, advanced 
to the same point. General Gates, with the shattered re- 
mains of his army collected at Hillsboro', also came up, and 
one thousand new levies from Virginia, under General Ste- 
phens, also came forward. Of these, early in December, 
General Greene assumed the command. The cloud that 
had, till the fall of Ferguson, bung over the whole South and 
enveloped the country in gloom, was dispelled, and from that 
moment the American cause began to wear a more promi- 
sing aspect. 

Referring to the signal victory obtained at King's Moun- 
tain, Mr. Jefferson says : ** It was the joyful enunciation of 
that turn in the tide of success, that terminated the revolu- 
tionary war with the seal of our independeilte." 

The General Assembly of North-Carolina, at its first ses- 
sion after the defeat of Ferguson, held at Halifax, January 
18, 1781, passed a resolution that a sword and pistols should 
be presented to both Shelby and Sevier, as a testimony of 
the great services they had rendered to their country on the 
day of this memorable defeat The finely finished sword, 
thus presented by the State of North-Carolina to Colonel 
John Sevier, was inherited by his son, the late Colonel 

* It was upon this retreat of the enemy that Andrew Jackson, then a boy of 
fifteen, received and repented so znaDfully, the insult of a British officer. 


George Washington Sevier, of Davidson county, and by him 
given to the State of Tennessee. It is now in the office of 
Colonel Ramsey, Secretary of State. On one side of the 
handle is engraven — 




And upon the other side — 

1m October, 1780. 

On the third of February, of the same year. Governor 
Nash signed a commission, appointing John Sevier colonel 
commaiidant of Washington county. Theretofore, he had 
acted as colonel at the spontaneous desire of the* troops he 

Though adopted in 1781, the resolve of North-Carolina 
i^as not carried into execution till 1813, when Governor 
Hawkins wrote to General Sevier, under date, 

ErEcunvE Office, North-Carolina, ) 
Raleigh, 17th July, 1813. ) 

Sir .^— In compliance with a resolntion of the Oeneral Assembly of 
this state, passed at their last session, I have the hoDour of tendering 
you the sword, which this letter accompanies, as a testimonial of the 
distiDguished claim jou have upon the gratitude of the state for jour 
gallantry in achieving, with your brothers in arms, the glorious victory 
over the British forces, commanded by Colonel Ferguson, at the battle 
of King's Mountain,* on the memorable 7th of October, 1780. This 
tribute of respect, though bestowed at a protracted period, will not be 
considered the less honourable on that account, when you are informed 
that it is in unison with a resolution of the General Assembly, passed 
in the year 1781, which, from some cause not well ascertained, it is to 
be regretted, was not complied with. 

Permit me, sir, to make you an expression of the high gratification 
felt by me, at being the favoured instrument to present to you, in the 
name of the Stnte of North-Carolina, this testimonial of gratitude, this 
meed of valour, and to remark, that contending as we are at the pre- 
MDt time, with the same foe for our just rights, the pleasing hope may 
be entertained, that tho valorous deeds of the heroes of our Revolution 
will animate the soldier of the existing war, aud nerve his arm, in lau- 
dable emulation, to like achievements. 

I beg you to accept an assurance of the just consideration and re- 
specty with which I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant^ 


GsmnuLL Jobk Ssyisi^ 


Gen. Sevier was at that time a member of Congress from 
the Knoxville district, and replied to Governor Hawkins from 
Washington, acknowledging the honour conferred on him and 
his brothers in arms, and specially the compliment to hfmseli^ 
implied by the presentation of the elegant sword that had 
been handed to him : 

«* With that memorable day," alluding to the ^th Oct, 1780, ^ began 
to shine and beam forth the glorious prospects of our American stniggle. 

In those trying days I was governed by love and regard 

for my common country, and particularly for the state I then had the 
honour of serving, and in whose welfare and prosperity I shall never 
cease to feel an interest I was then ready to hazard eveiything/dear to 
man to secure our Independence. I am now as willing to risk all to re- 
tain it . . . . It is to be lamented that the heroes and fiith^n 
of our Revolution have fallen into the arms of old age and death, and that 
so few of them remain to benefit the country by their advice or thdr ser- 
"rices in the field. . . . Our countrymen must become acquainted 
with the arts of active warfare, and then I am proud in thinking thej 
will become better soldiers than those of any other nation on the glojbe^ 
and we will soon be able to meet the enemy at every point" 

We shall not stop to dwell upon Morgan's spirited affair 
( at the Cow Pens, nor Greene's masterly retreat through 
( North-Carolina to Virginia, nor the marches and coun- 
ter-marches of that prudent commander and his skilful anta- 
gonist, Cornwallis. It is sufficient for the purposes of these 
annals to say, that the authorities of North-Carolina had 
placed a suitable estimate upon the services of the Western 
riflemen, and now, when ther own state was overrun, called 
for their aid to rescue it from foreign invasion and domestic 
outrage. The Assembly, while in session at Halifax, turned 
their eyes to Shelby and Sevier, and rested their hopes upon 
them. On the 13th of February, it was 

^^Besolved, That Colonel Isaac Shelby, of Sullivan county, and John 
Sevier, Esq., of Washington county, be informed by this resolve, which 
shall be communicated to them, that the General Assembly of this State 
are feelingly impressed with the very generous and patriotic services ren- 
dered by the inhabitants of the said counties, to which their influence has 
in a great degree contributed. And it is earnestly urged that they would 
press a continuance of the same active exertion ; that the state of the coun- 
try is such as to call forth its utmost powers immediately, in order to 
preserve its freedom and independence." 

By the same resolutions, Sevier and Shelby were requested 


to procure again the military co-operation of Cols. Campbell 
and Preston, and their gallant riflemen, from Virginia. 

Governor Caswell, in communicating this resolution, took 
the opportunity of depicting to Shelby the melancholy cir- 
cumstances in which North-Carolina was involved. The 
tories were in motion all over the state — their footsteps were 
marked with blood, and their path was indicated by devasta- 
tion and outrage. The British army was advancing, under 
Cornwallis, through the most populous and fertile district of 
the state, and detachments from it, under difierent leaders, 
were committing ravages upon the lives and property of the 
inhabitants. Under this condition of things, the governor con- 
jured Shelby to return to the relief of his distressed country. 
Gen. Greene also addressed to the Western leaders who had 
signalized their zeal at King's Mountain, the most earnest and 
flattering letters, reminding them of the glory already acquired 
and calling upon them to come forwiard once more to repulse 
the invaders. 

Col. Sevier was at this time, with most of the militia of 
Watauga and Nollichucky, engaged in protecting their own 
frontier and chastising the Cherokees, as will be elsewhere 
narrated. Neither of the Western commanders could, there- 
fore, go to the assistance of General Greene. A few of the 
pioneers of Tennessee, however, were under his command 
as volunteers at the hardly contested battle of the. fifteenth 
of March, at Guilford Court House, and are said to have 
behaved well. 

Could the safety of the frontier allowed the entire com- 
mands of Shelby and Sevier to have joined the army of 
Greene, the catastrophe that afterwards overtook Lord Corn- 
"wallifl at Yorktown, might have overwhelmed him at Guil- 
ford Court House ; as it can scarcely be doubted that the 
battle of the fifteenth of March, with the joint assistance of the 
riflemen from Watauga and Nollichucky, would have re- 
sulted in the complete overthrow and capture of the British 
army. Their additional numbers would have made the 
affair hard by the field of Alamance — the first blood shed in 
defence of American rights — the last great scene in the drama 
of the Revolution ; and North-Carolina, so early in her 

880 oluEBHI^A nMOMT OK 0OqT8-OA|bCXLlirA. 

deolaration of independence, would have contained llie field 
on which th^t greal achierement was consammated* 

After the battle at Gnilford Court House, Lord Cornwallis, 
with his crippled army, retired to Wilmington, and after re* 
freshing his troops there, marched by way of Halifi^a^, into 
Virginia. His precipitate retreat from De^ Bivei^* ta 
which place General Greene bad followed . uid offered him 
battle, induced that commander to carry the war iounedi- 
ately into South-Carolina. 

By this movement he hoped the enemy would be obliged 
to follow him or give up the posts he held in that state, la 
the prosecution of this plan he broke up- his camp on the 
7th of April, and on the nineteenth, made his appeanuiee 
before Camden. . Lord Cornwallis declined to follow him, 
and directing the march of his army towards the CheMr 
peake, little expectation could be entertained of a reinliNme' 
ment from that direction, to support Greene in his descent 
upon South-Carolina. He was, of course, compelled to d^* 
pend upon the militia of the three Southern States and the 
volunteers from the mountain. Active^ measures wecb 
promptly adopted to concentrate these forces for fhtiue 
operations. The expedition that had been carried on a short 
time previous by the frontier militia, having- liberated them 
from the danger that threatened their firesides with 
Cherokee invasion and massacre, Shelby and Sevier were 
enabled to promise the assistance of the riflemen. Greene 
appointed the latter end of August, and Fort Granby, as the 
time and place of rendezvous. The volunteers promptly 
obeyed the call of their leaders, and collected in a largq force 
for the purpose of rescuing South-Carolina from the enemy. 
They had actually advanced far on their way to Greene's 
camp, when intelligence reached them that Cornwallis had 
left North-Carolina, and that the American commander, by 
cutting off the supplies between Camden and Charleston, had 
compelled Lord Rawdon to evacuate the former place ; that 
the post at Orangeburg, Fort Motte, another post at Nelson's 
Ferry, Fort Granby and Georgetowji, had in like manner 
been captured or evacuated ii\ rapid ^ucceteion ; and that 
Col. Hampton had, with a party of dragoons, charged within 


five miles of- Gbarleston. They learned, furthermore, that 
Fort Comwallis at Augusta, had surrendered to Pickens and 
Lee, assisted by the brave riflemen of Georgia under Clarke, 
and that the British had retreated from their stronghold at 
?finety-Six, and had contracted their operations almost en- 
tirely within that small extent of country which is enclosed 
by the Santee, the Gongaree and Edisto ; and to all this was 
added, that the enemy were driven into Charleston. This 
information so changed the complexion of affairs in South- 
Garolina, as to admit the return of the mountain men to their 
homes, and Sevier* accordingly wrote to General Greene, 
that as his recent successes had rendered the services of the 
VTestem riflemen unnecessary, they had returned and dis- 
banded. It was on account of these considerations, that the 
troops from the mountains of Tennessee had not the good 
fortune to participate in the battle of Eutaw Springs, which 
oecnrred not long aflter they were disbanded. 

In the meantime Greene received information, through 
General La Fayette, that Lord Gomwallis's movements in- 
dicated an intention of retreating from the pursuit of the 
allied army on the Chesapeake southwardly. This intention 
was supported by the simultaneous rising of all the royalists 
in the different sections of the South. They began immedi- 
ately to assemble and renew their ravages, and to harass 
tfie whigs in every quarter. At this crisis, and on the six- 
teenth of September, General Greene wrote to Col. Sevier, 
informing him of the posture of affairs near Yorktown, and 
of the suspicions which were entertained that Lord Com- 
wallis would endeavour to escape by marching back through 
North-Carolina to Charleston ; to prevent which. General 
Greene begged that the colonel would bring as large a 
body of riflemen as he could, and with as much expedition 
as was possible, and march them to Charlotte. Sevier 
immediately raised two hundred mounted riflemen in Wash- 
ington eonnty, and marched with them across the mountain. 
The well liffected in South-Carolina were suffering extremely 
by the eruelties which the tories were inflicting ugon them. 
Sevier joined hn forces to those of General Marion, on the 

* JouDSOO. 

9M Bsnim axd iiuelbt ioa MAioirt 

Santee, at Davis^s Ferry, and contributed macli to keep np 
resistance to the enemy ; to raise the spirits of those 'who 
were friendly to the American caase, and to affotd protection 
to those who were in danger from the infuriated royalists. 

Lord Cornwallis being now besieged in Ycwrktown, and 
his retreat through Noith-Carolina being no longer appre- 
hended, General Greene, with a view of stopping the depre- 
dations of the enemy, who were now committing their r»- 
vages in St. Stephen's Parish, endeavoured to collect a foree 
sufficient to drive them into Charleston, and only awaited lor 
the arrival of the mountain men before he began his open^ 

Col. Shelby had also been called upon by Greene^ to bring 
his regiment to his relief in intercepting Cornwallis, should 
he effect his escape from the blockade by the French fleet in 
the Chesapeake bay, and attempt a retreat through the Care- 
Unas. His lordship's surrender took place on the nineteeatk 
of October, and the riflemen of Shelby were also attached 
to Gen« Marion's command below on the Santeie. To this 
both Shelby and Sevier consented with some reluctance- 
Their men were called out upon a pressing emergency, whic^ 
no longer existed. They had been, moreover, enrolled only 
for sixty days. Much of that time had already expired, and 
the contemplated service under Afarion would take thea 
still further from their distant homes. Besides, Shelby was 
a member of the General Assembly of North-Carolina, from 
Sullivan county, and its session at Salem took place early 
in December. Notwithstadding these considerations, they 
promptly joined Marion early in November, with five hun- 
dred mounted riflemen. With these were associated, under 
the command of the same distinguished leader, the forces of 
Col. Mayhem and Col. Horry. Together they formed a most 
efficient corps of cavalry, Vnoun ted infantry and riflemen. 

The enemy, at that time under General Stewart, lay at a 
place called Ferguson's Swamp, on the great road leading 
to Charleston. General Marion, some weeks after the arrival 
of the mountain men at his camp, received information that 
several hundred Hessians, at a British post near Monk's 
Corner, eight or ten miles below the enemy's main army. 


were in a state of mutiny, and would surrender the post to 
any considerable American force that might appear before 
it^ and he soon determined to send a detachment to surprise 
it. Sevier and Shelby solicited a command in the detach- 
ment. Marion moved down eight or ten miles, and crossed 
over to the south side of the Santee River, from whence he 
sent a detachment of five or six hundred men to surprise the 
post, the command of which was given to Col. Mayhem, of 
the South-Carolina dragoons. The detachment consisted of 
parts of the regiments of Sevier and Shelby, one hundred 
and eighty of Mayhem's dragoons, and twenty or thirty 
lowland militia. The line of march was taken up early in 
the morning, and the detachment marched fastly through the 
woods, crossing the main Charleston road, leaving the ene- 
my's main army three or four miles to the left ; and on the 
evaping of the second day, struck the road again leading to 
Charleston, about two miles below the post which it was in- 
tended to surprise. The men lay all night upon their arms 
across the road, so as to intercept the Hessians in case the 
enemy had got notice of the approach of the Americans, and 
had ordered them to Charleston before morning. In the 
eonrse of the night, an orderly sergeant from the main Bri- 
tish army rode in^ among the riflemen and was taken pri- 
soner. No material paper was found upon him that night 
(which was very dark) before he made his escape, except 
some returns, which contained the strength of the enemy's 
main army, and their number on the sick list, which was 
i^ery great As soon as daylight appeared, the detachment 
advanced to the British post. Col. Mayhem sent in a con- 
fidential individual to demand an immediate surrender of the 
garrison, who returned in a few minutes, and reported that 
the oflicer commanding would defend the post to the last ex- 
tremity. Col. Shelby immediately proposed to Mayhem that 
he would go in himself and make another eflx)rt to obtain a 
surrender. This was readily assented to. On his approach 
to the garrison, Shelby declared to the commander that if he 
was so mad as to sufier the post to be stormed, he might rest 
assured that every soul within should be put to the sword, 
for there were several hundred mountain men at hand, who 


would soon be in with their tomahawks upon them. The, 
officer then inquired of Shelby whether they had any artil- 
lery. To which he replied, **we have gons that will blow 
you to atoms in a minate." Upon which the British officer 
said, ^ I suppose I must surrender,** and immediately thmw 
open the gate, whieh Mayhem saw and advanced up quiokly 
with the detachment It was not until this moment, that 
another strong British post was seen, five or six hundred 
yards eastof the xme which had surrendered. It had been 
built to coves a landing on Cooper River. It was a sttoiig 
brick house, erected at a very early period, and known to 
have been calculated for defence as well as comfort. This 
had been enclosed by a strong abbati% and being on tlie 
route from Charleston to Monk*s Comer, had been used . hy 
the enemy as a stage for their troc^ and convoys, in pasring 
from post to post It was sufficiently eapaeious to ootov « 
party of considerable magnitude, and was unassaUablo 
by cavalry, the only force from which stidden inooniawi 
oould be apprehended.* The garrison .consisted of ahoot 
one hundred soldiers and forty or -fifty dragoons. Tliese 
immediately marched out as if intending a charge iq[N>a llie 
riflemen. These, however, stood firm and prepared to meet 
them. A party of the horsemen were ordered to dismount, 
and approaching the abbatis, appear and act as infantry, 
while the residue of that corps, headed by the cavalry, ad- 
vanced boldly into the field and demanded a surrender. The 
idea of resistance was abandoned, and the place surrendered 
at discretion. One hundred and fifty prisoners were taken, 
all of whom were able to have fought fVom the windows of 
the large brick building and from the abbatis. Three hun- 
dred stand of arms were also captured, besides many stores 
of great value. Ninety of the prisoners were carried ofi* on 
horseback behind the mounted men — the officers and such of 
the garrison as were unable to march to Marion's camp,, sixty 
miles ofi*, were paroled. The house, with its contents and 
the abbatis, were consumed. 

General Stewart, who commanded the enemy's main army, 
eight or ten tniles above, made great efibrts to intercept the 



Americans and rescue their prisoners. But they arrived at 
Marion's camp about three o'clock the morning following. 
Before sunrise, it was announced in camp that the whole 
British army was in the old field, three miles off, at. the outer 
end of the causeway, which led into the camp. Sevier and 
Shelby were immediately ordered out, with their regiments, 
to attack the enemy if he approached the swamp, and to 
retreat at their own discretion. But, receiving information 
that Marion was reinforced with a large body of riflemen 
from the West, the enemy retreated, in great disorder, nearly 
to the gates of Charleston.* t 

About the 28th of November, Col. Shelby obtained leave 
of absence from the army, for the purpose of attending the 
approaching session of the Legislature of North-Carolina, of 
which he was a member. It met early in December, at 
Salem, nearly four hundred miles from the then seat of war. 
He had remained in camp to the last minute that would per- 
mit his arrival at the seat of government at the commence- 
ment of the session. Laying down the sword, and relin- 
qaishing the duties of a commander, he left the camp of 
Marion to enter another field of service and assume the 
fonctions of a legislator. 

CoL Sevier remained with the mountain men. Little more 
remained to be done to bring the war to a close. 

''John's and James's Island, with tho city of Charleston and the 
Neck, were now the only footholds left to the British of all their oon- 

SAtB in South-Carolina. A detachment of mounted infantry had been 
at Monk's Corner to watch the motions of tho enemy, who, by means 
of Cooper River, had free access, in their boats and gallies, to that 
neighbourhood. To destroy this detachment, in the absence of Marion, 
a mce of three hundred and fifty men were transported, by water, from 
Oharleaton. The unexpected return of Marion enabled him, partly, to 
defeat their enterprise. His force did not equal that which was arrayed 
agunst him, but he, nevertheless, resolved upon attacking it. In order 
to detain tho enemy, he despatched Colonels Richardson and Sevierf 
and a part of Mayhem's horse, with orders to throw themselves in front 
of the British and engage them until he should come up with tho main 
body. The order was gallantly executed. Tho British advance was 

* The details of this caippaign of the riflemen to South-Carolina, are taken 
ftom Shelby's Narrative, now before mo. Tliey aro also found in Haywood. 

f Tliia was probably Col ValcntiDe Sevier. There is reason to believe that 
GoL John Sevier was, at this lime, on the frontier or in the Cherokee nation. 


chaived and driven near 8L Tfionui's Muri«T Ilowe, bj Captain Sni 
of Mayhem's cavalry, and tLeir Uadcr, Capuia Campbell, with aare 
others, fell in tie flight,"* 

In the mcaDtime, elections were held and Governor Ri 
ledge ooDvened the legislatoro of the Ktale at JaeksoDl] 
rough, a sniall village about thirtyfive miles from Cbarlt 
toD. This event, which once more restored the fomis 
civil government to Soutb-Carolina, after an interrepium 
nearly two years, took place in January, 1783.f It was m 
however, till December 14th that Charleston was evacuate 
But that inte§ini famished little opportunity for milUai 
adventure or achievement. The emergency that had call) 
the pioneers of Tennessee from their mountain recesses^ hi 
ceased to exist, as soon as the common enemy waa driven i 
the environs of Charleston, and civil government establiahl 
in South-Carolina. This being accomplished, the riflema 
returned to their distant homes and were disbanded. The 
felt a proud consciousness of having performed a patriot] 
duty, and of having rendered the country some service 
They bad rendezvoused at the western base of the Apala 
chian Range — they had ascended its summit, and, precipi 
tating themselves upon the plains below, had punned tb 
enemy to the coast of the Atlantic. They bad suffered fron 
the mountain snow storm and the miasmata of the lov 
grounds of the Santee and Edisto. Toils and marches anc 
watches, by night and by day, were cheerfully endured, anii 
wherever the enemy could be found, his post assaulted o: 
bis abbatis stormed, the backwoodsman was there, ready, witl 
his spirited charger, his war whoop and his rifle, to executi 
the purpose of his mission. 

A large number of negroes and a vast amount of otbei 
property, were taken from Georgia and South-Carolina, am 
carried away. But to the honour of tlic troops under Sflviei 
and Shelby, no such captives or property came with them inb 
the country of their residence; their integrity was as littli 
impeached as their valour.J They came home enriched by n( 
spoils, stained with no dishonour ; enriched only by an im 
peiishable fame, an undying renown and an unquestionabh 
• SimniB. t Uem. } Uajwood. 


claim to the admiration and gratitude of their countrymen 
and of posterity. This has been accorded to them by a con- 
sent aUnost unanimous. The authorities of the states in whose 
service they were employed, conceded it to them. The offi- 
cers wbo commanded them, asserted it for them. The com- 
mander-in-chief of the southern department, attests its validi- 
ty by inviting them to a second campaign under his standard. 
The very impatience of Gen. Greene at their delay in reach- 
ing^ his camp at the hour of a perilous conflict, vouches for 
the value he placed upon their conduct and courage ; and 
the regret expressed by that oflicer at the retirement of Shelby, 
is itself an admission that he considered the co-operation of 
that leader and his regiment, as an essential element in his 
farther success. In the expression of that regret no censure 
is even implied. Though the conduct of the riflemen from 
their rendezvous at Watauga to their return to the frontier, 
has generally received unqualifled eulogy and approbation, 
by one historian a single part of it has been censured and a 
term of reproach used, which shall not stain these pages, by 
an idle and profane and distasteful repetition of it. The wri- 
ter holds the memory of these patriot heroes in too grateful 
veneration, not to repel an imputation upon their high-souled 
honour, the constancy of their patriotism, and the majesty and 
steadfastness of their pubHc virtue. The imputation belongs 
hot to Tennessee ; it contradicts all her past history ; it does 
violence to her very instincts ; — ^she repudiates, disclaims and 
disavows it. 

The substance of the censure alluded to is, that Shelby and 
his men returned home before the object of the campaign was 
accomplished. An injustice, no doubt unintentional, has been 
thus inflicted. These pages already contain an ample vindi- 
cation of the mountain men from the imputation. Uude, some 
of them may have been, — illiterate, many of them doubtless 
w^re ; but nothing unpatriotic, nothing unmilitary, nothing 
nnsoldiery, can be imputed to them or their gallant leader. 
An honest fame belonged to them through life. Let not their 
graves be desecrated by a posthumous reproach. 

Commenting upon the return of the mountain men from 


their campaign under Marion, on the Santee, the historiaiB. 
from whom we quote, says : 

'' This was, mth some probability, attributed to the dep^rtu: 

of their colonel, Shelby, who had obtained leave 6f absence. Somethings 
tooj has beep said of the service not being sufficiently active for th^r habits r 
but reasons such as these, furnish a poor apology for soldiers who, in th^ 
cause of their country^s liberty, should be well pleased to encounter anjr 
sort of service which it may be the policy of their commander to impose. 
Marion had endeavoured to find them sufficient employment. He had 
approached and defied the enemy, but could neither tempt nor provoke 
him to leave his encampment. With numbers decidedly inferior, the 
brave partizan was chagrined to find it impossible to bnng his enemy 
into the field."* 

And so it continued to be afterwards. The enemy never 
did again enter into the field. Small foraging parties and 
plundering detachments occasionally presented themselves. 
But this was not the entertainment to which the mountain 
men had been invited. Something worthier of their mettle 
had brought them from their homes. Enterprise, adventure, 
heroism, was their sentiment — achievement their purpose. 
Nothing less than to intercept Lord Corn wallis and to cap- 
ture his army, was at first the object of their expedition* 
A " poor apology," this disappointment, produced by the sur- 
render at Yorktown, — but yet involving in it nothing little 
or inglorious. 

It will be recollected, too, that the time of their enrolment 
was for sixty days. More than that period had expired be- 
fore their return. The southern enemy had been driven from 
the interior and was retiring within the lines of Charleston 
and Savannah, from which the commander did not expect to 
drive him without the co-operation of a naval force. This 
co-operation was impossible. Civil government, too, was re- 
instated, and Marion and Mayhem, and other leaders, like 
Shelby, obtained leave of absence from the camp to assume 
their legislative functions. Reinforcements, too, from the 
army at Yorktown, were on their way to the support of 
Greene. The crisis was safely passed — the tug of the war 
was over, and the aid of the Western riflemen could be no 
longer needed in the South. One half of the guns and of the 

• Simms. 



men had been withdrawn from the exposed frontier^ across 
the moantain. These were now restored to it where their 
services were wanted. No further help was afterwards re- 
qairAd from abroad. The safety of South-Carolina was left 
in the keeping of its own citizens. To defame the mountain 
men for their leaving it, is to insult the native valour of the 
South, then and afterwards, as it still is, adequate to the 
achievement of everything but an impossibility. 

The results of the campaigns of seventeen hundred and 
1Y82 \ ^^S^^y A^^ eighty-one, sensibly affected the measures 
( of the British ministry, and rendered the American 
war unpopular in Great Britain. 

On the nineteenth of April, seventeen hundred and eighty- 
1788 i ^h'669 Peace was proclaimed in the American army, 
( by the commander-in-chief, George Washington, pTe- 
oisely eight years from the first day of the effusion of blood at 
Lexington. For more than that length of time the pioneers of 
Tennessee had been engaged in incessant war. On the tenth 
of October, seventeen hundred and seventy-four, their youth- 
ful heroes, Shelby and Sevier, flushed their maiden swords 
at the battle of Kenhawa, and with little intermission there- 
after, were constantly engaged in guarding the settlements 
or attacking and invading the savage enemy. The gallant 
and patriotic participation of the mountain men in the revo- 
lutionary struggle, under the same men, now become leaders, 
has been just related. To preserve the chain of these trans- 
actions unbroken, it has been found necessary to depart from 
the chronological order of events, which has been gene- 
rally pursued in these annals. To that order we again 

On the return march of the army from King^s Mountain, 
1780 i Sevier, apprehending an outbreak from the Cherokees 
I in the absence from the frontier of so many men and 
gans, detached Capt. Russell home, as soon as the riflemen with 
the prisoners had safely crossed the Catawba. Russell re- 
turned by a rapid march, and found that Sevier's apprehen- 
sions were well founded. Two traders, Thomas and Harlin, 
brought information from the Cherokee towns that a large 
body of Indians were on the march to assail the frontier. 



The men oomposiDg Capt. Russell's command continued 
their organization. Col. Sevier soon after, with his vioto- 
riouB companions in arms, reached their homes in good time 
to repel the savage invaders. Without a day's rest bb set 
on foot another expedition. 

Sevier's cherokee expedition. 

Whilst the volunteers were being enrolled and equipped 
in sufficient numbers for the magnitude of the campaign he 
contemplated, Sevier put himself at the head of about one 
hundred men, principally of Captain Russell's and Captain 
Guess's companies, with whom he set out in advance of the 
other troops. The second night this party camped upon Long 
Creek. Captain Guess was here sent forward with a small 
body of men to make discovery. On ascending a slight 
hill, they found themselves witblti forty yards of a large In- 
dian force, before they discovered it. They fired from their 
horses and retreated to Sevier's camp. The Indians also 
fired, but without efiect. Sevier prepared his command to 
receive a night attack. Before day» Captain Pruett rein- 
forced him after a rapid march, with about seventy men. 
Thus reinforced, Sevier next morning pursued his marcb» 
expecting every minute to meet the enemy. When they 
came to the point at which the spies had met and fired upon 
the Indians, they found traces of a large body of them. They 
had, in their hasty retreat, left one warrior who had been 
killed the evening before by the spies. The pursuit was 
continued vigorously by the troops, who crossed French 
Broad at the Big Island and encamped on Boyd's Creek. The 
next day, early in the morning, the advance guard under the 
command of Captain Stinson, continued the march, and at 
the distance of three miles found the encampment of the 
enemy and their fires still burning. A reinforcement was 
immediately ordered to the front, and the guard was directed 
if it came up with the Indians, to fire upon them and retreat, 
and thus draw them on. Three-quarters of a mile from their 
camp, the enemy fired upon the advance from an ambuscade. 
It returned the fire and retreated, and, as had been antici- 
pated, was pursued by the enemy till it joined the main 


body. This was formed into three divisions : the centre 
commanded by Col. John Sevier, the right wing by Major 
Jesse Walton, and the left by Major Jonathan Tipton. Or- 
ders were given that as soon as the enemy should approach 
the front, the right wing should wheel to the left, and the 
left wing to the right, and thus enclose them. In this order 
were the troops arranged when they met the Indians at the 
Cedar Spring, who rushed forward after the guard with 
great rapidity, till checked by the opposition of the main 
body. Major Walton with the right wing wheeled briskly 
to the left, and performed the order which he was to execute 
with precise accuracy. But the left wing moved to the right 
with less celerity, and when the centre jfired upon the In- 
dians, doing immense execution, the latter retreated through 
the unoccupied space left open between the extremities of 
the right and left wings, and running into a swamp, escaped 
the destruction which otherwise seemed ready to involve 
them. The victory was decisive. The loss of the enemy 
amounted to twenty-eight killed on the ground, and very 
many wounded, who got oif without being taken. On the 
side of Sevier's troops not a man was even wounded. The 
victorious little army then returned to the Big Island — after- 
wards called Sevier's Island — and waited there the arrival of 
reinforcements that promised to follow.. 

This prompt collection of troops, and rapid expedition of 
Sevier, saved the frontier from a bloody invasion. Had 
he been more tardy, the Indians would have reached the 
settlements, scattered themselves along the extended border, 
driven them into stations, or perhaps massacred them in 
their cabins and fields. Their force was understood to be 
large and to be well armed. 

Another narrative of this engagement gives further details : 
The Indians had formed in a half-moon, and lay concealed 
in the grass. Had their stratagem not been discovered, their 
position, and the shape of the ground, would have enabled 
ibem to enclose and overcome the horsemen. Lieutenant 
Lane and John Ward had dismounted for the fight, when 
Sevier, having noticed the semi-circular position of the In« 
dians, ordered a halt, with the purpose of engaging the two 

((». A<»« " 


extremes of the Indian line, and keeping up the action until 
the other part of his troops could come up. Lane and his 
comrade, Ward, remounted and fell back upon Sevier with- 
out being hurt, though fired at by several warriors near 
them. A brisk fire was, for a short time, kept up by Sevier's 
party and the nearest Indians. The troops behind, hearing 
the first fire, had quickened their pace and were coming in 
sight. James Roddy, with about twenty men, quickly came 
up, and soon after the main body of the troops. The Indians 
noticed this reinforcement and closed their lines. Sevier 
immediately ordered the charge, which would have been 
still more fatal, but that the pursuit led through a swampy 
branch, which impeded the progress of the horsemen. In 
the charge, Sevier was in close pursuit of a warrior, whO| 
finding that he would be overtaken, turned and fired at him. 
The bullet cut the hair of his temple without doing further 
injury. Sevier then spurred his horse forward and attempted 
to kill the Indian with his sword, having emptied his pistols 
in the first moment of the charge. The warrior parried the 
licks from the sword with his empty gun. The conflict was 
becoming doubtful between the two combatants thus en- 
gaged, when one of the soldiers, rather ungallantly, came 
up, shot the warrior, and decided the combat in favour of his 
commander. The horse of Adam Sherrill threw his rider, 
and, in the fall, some of his ribs were broken. An Indian 
sprang upon him with his tomahawk drawn. When in the 
act of striking, a ball from a comrade's rifie brought him to 
the ground, and Sherrill escaped. After a short pursuit, the 
Indians dispersed into the adjoining highlands and knolls, 
where the cavalry could not pursue them. Of the whites 
not one was killed, and but three seriously wounded. 
This battle of Boyd's Creek has always been considered 

1780 \ ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ fought battles in the border war of 
( Tennessee. Major Tipton was severely wounded. 
Besides the ofiicers and men already mentioned as having 
participated in it, there were Capt. Landon Carter, James 
Sevier, the son, and Abraham Sevier, the brother, of John 
Sevier, Thomas Gist, Abel Pearson, James Hubbard, Major 
Benj. Sharp, Captain Saml. Handly, Col. Jacob Brown, Jere- 


miah Jaok, Esq., Nathan Gaun, Isaac Taylor and George 

Sevier remained but a few days at his eneampment on 
French Broad» till he was joined by Colonel Arthur Camp- 
bell, with his regiment from Virginia, and Major Martin, 
with his troops from Sullivan county. The army consisted 
of seven hundred mounted men. They crossed Little Ten- 
nessee, three miles below Chota, since the residence of Da- 
vid Russell. The main body of the Indians, having notice 
of their approach, lay in wait for them at the principal ford, 
a mile below Chota. The imposing array of the cavalry, 
and the fact of their crossing at the lower ford, so discon- 
eerted the Indians, that no attack was made by them, nor 
any attempt made to hinder the crossing. Ascending the 
opposite bank, the horsemen saw a large party of Indians 
on a neighbouring eminence, watching their movements. 
These, on the approach of the troops, retreated hastily, and 
escaped. They then pushed up to Chota. A detachment of 
sixty men, under command of Robert Campbell, immediately 
set off to reduce Chilhowee, eight' miles above, on the same 
river. It was found deserted. They burned it. The In- 
dians were seen on the opposite shore, but beyond the reach 
of their rifles. They returned, without loss, to the army. 
Every town between Tennessee and Hiwassee was reduced. 
to ashes, the Indians flying before the troops. Near to Hi- 
wassep, after it was burned, an Indian warrior was surprised 
and captured. By him a message was sent to the Cherokees, 
proposing terms of peace. But one white man was killed 
^n this expedition — Captain Elliott, of Sullivan. He was 
buried in an Indian hut at Tellico, which was burned over 
hiB ^ave, to prevent the Indians from finding and vio- 
lating it. 

At Tellico, the army was met by Watts and Noon Day, 
who proposed terms of peace, which were accepted as to 
the villages contiguous. Tellico was then a small town of 
thirty or forty houses, built on forks and poles and covered 
with bark. They did not destroy it. Watts and Noon Day 
aecorapanied and piloted the army. The Indians made no 
hostile demonstration till the army had crossed Hiwassee, 


when it became necessary to place out sentinels aroand their 
camps. Hiwassee town was found evacuated, and the troops 
saw but a single Indian warrior, who was placed npon the 
summit of an adjoining ridge, there to beat a drum and giro 
otiier signals to the Indians secreted in hearing of him. The 
spies stole upon and shot him. The troops then continaed 
their march southwardly till they came near the Chicka- 
mauga or Look Out Towns, when they encamped and next 
day marched iilto the towns. The warriors had deserted 
them. The only persons found there were a Captain Rogers, 
four negroes, and some Indian women and children. These 
were taken prisoners. The warriors were dispirited by the 
vigorous defence of Sevier at the commencement of the 
campaign, and never ventured again to meet him, but se- 
creted themselves in the fastnesses around Chtckamauga. 
The troops killed all the cattle and hogs which could be 
found ; burnt many of the towns and villages, and spread 
over the face of the country a general devastation, from 
which the Indians could not recover for several years.*' 

The march was continued so low down Coosa as to reach 
the region of the long-leafed pine and cypress swamps. Here 
they began an indiscriminate destruction of towns, houses, 
grain and stock. The Indians fled precipitately. A few of. 
.them were killed and captured. In one of the villages a 
well dressed white man was found, with papers in his pos- 
session showing that he was a British agent. Attempting to 
escape, he was shot and left unburied. The army here 
turned to the left, scouted among the hills, and turned their 
faces homeward, killing and capturing several Indians, and 
devastating their country. Returning as far as Chota, the 
con^manders here held a council with a large body of the 
Cherokees, which lasted two days. Hanging Maw made a 
free exchange of prisoners, whom he had brought with him 

to the council. Among others, Jane and Ireland, who 

had be.en captured on Roane's Creek, were exchanged. They 
were nearly naked, and other ways looked like Indians. They 
had been well treated, though closely watched during their 
captivity. They were frantic with joy at their restoration. 

• Hajwood. 


A peace was agreed upon, and the army crossing near the 
mouth of Nine Mile, returned home. They found that set^ 
tiers had followed the route pursued by the army as low as 
French Broad, and at every spring had begun to erect their 

Gol. Arthur Campbell communicated to Governor Jeffer- 
son a further account of this expedition, and of the treaty of 
peace. **0n the 25th, Major Martin went with a detachment 
to discover the route by which the enemy were flying off. 
He surprised a party of the enemy, took one scalp and seven- 
teen horses loaded with clothing, skins and household furni- 
ture. He discovered that most of the fugitives were making 
towards Tellico and the Hiwassee. On the 26th, Major Tip- 
ton was detached with one hundred and fifty mounted in- 
fantry, with orders to cross the river, dislodge the enemy on 
that side, and destroy the town of Telassee. At the same 
time Major Gilbert Christian, with a like number of foot, 
were to patrol the hills south of Chilhowee, and burn the 
remaining part of that town. This was effected, three In- 
dians being killed and nine taken prisoners." 

After completing the expedition, the leaders of it sent the 
following message to the 

•* Ghdbfs akd Warriors — ^We came into your country to fight your 
Toanff men. We have killed many of them and destroyed your towns. 
Yoa know you begun the war by listening to the bad counsels of the 
King of England, and the falsehoods told you by his agents. We are 
now satbfied with what is done, as it may convince your nation that we 
can distress you much at any time, when you are so foolish as to engage 
in war against us. If you desire peace, as we understand you do, we, 
out of pity to your women and children, are disposed to treat with you 
on that subject. 

** We therefore send you this by one of your young men, who is our 
prisoner, to tell you, if you are disposed to make peace, six of your head 
men mmt come to our agent. Major Martin, at the Great Island, within 
two mooDs, so as to give him time to meet them with a flag-guard, on 
Holston River, at the boundary line. To the wives and children of those 
men of your nation who protested against the war, if they are willing to 
take refuge at the Great Island until peace is restored, we will give a 
supply of provisions to keep them alive. 

*• Warriors, listen attentively ! — If we receive no answer to this mes- 
sage, until the time already mentioned expires, we shall then conclude 
that yoa intend to continue to be our enemies. We will then be compelled 
to Mud another strong force into your country, that will come prepared to 


lemab in it, to take poeseasion of it as a conquered ctrazitrj, without i^^ 
you any compensation for it 

''Signed at Eai-a-tee, the 4tli Jany, 1781, by 

Arthur Campbell, Colonel. 

John Sevier, Colonel. 

Joseph Martin, Agent and Major of Militia*" 

It was not till the ensuing year that a treaty could be con- 
cluded under a Commission appointed by General Greene, as 
commander of the southern department, Notwithstanding 
the overtures of the Indians sent by Col. Campbell, of a dis- 
position to treat and the prompt measures adopted by Gene- 
ral Greene to negotiate with them, and the. severe punish- 
ment that had been so recently inflicted upon the Cherokees, 
the deep passion for war and glory which constantly agitates 
the bosom of the savage, continued to excite to further ag- 
gression and hostility. The emissaries of England, in thepei^ 
sons of refugee tories, were in the Indian villages, and stimn*- 
lated to its highest point their natural thirst for blood. It 
was the policy of the British commander, then upon the sour- 
ces of the Yadkin, to instigate the Cherokees to renewed war- 
fare upon the western frontier, so as to prevent the hardy in- 
habitants from crossing the mountain again and forcing him 
to a second retreat. This policy succeeded but too well, and 
occasioned the necessity of collecting troops and establishing 
garrisons on the frontier. 

But stationed troops were a most inadequate defence. The 
, < Indians still prowled around the more remote settle- 
( ments, and in an unguarded moment committed murder 
and theft. Col. Sevier suspected that the perpetrators of this 
mischief came from some hostile towns in the mountain gorges, 
where his troops had never yet penetrated. He collected toge- 
ther, in March of this year, one hundred and thirty men in the 
Greasy Cove, and with them he marched against the Middle 
settlements of the Cherokees. He entered and took by surprise 
the town of Tuckasejah, on the head waters of the Little Ten- 
nessee. Fifty warriors were slain and fifty women and child- 
ren taken prisoners. In that vicinity the troops under Sevier 
burnt fifteen or t\yenty towns and all the granaries of corn 
they could find. It was a hard and disagreeable necessity 
that led to the adoption of these apparently cruel measures. 


Still, nothing less would keep the savages in their towns, or 
prevent more cruel massacres of the whites upon the frontier. 
Sevier had but one man killed at Tuckasejah, and but one 
"wounded, and he recovered. Ten of the prisoners resided 
with Colonel Sevier three years, and were treated with hu- 
manity and kindness. They were afterwards delivered to 
Col. Martin, and by him restored to their own nation. 

David McNabb was one of the captains in this expedition. 
The command went up Cane Creek, and crossed Ivy and Swan- 
nanoa. Isaac Thomas, an old Indian trader, was their pilot. 
The mountains were so steep that the men had to dismount 
and lead their horses. Before an exchange of prisoners was 
effected, some of the Cherokee women and children made 
their escape. ' This campaign lasted twenty-nine days, and 
'was carried on over a mountainous section of country never 
before travelled by any of the settlers, and scarcely ever pass- 
ed through, even by traders and hunters. The Indians of the 
Middle towns were surprised at this unexpected invasion of 
Sevier — were pQ,pic stricken and made little resistance. 

April 24. — ^Under this date, Joseph Martin writes from Long 
i Island to Col. Sevier that he had returned lately with 
I his command of sixty-five men from an expedition on 
Clinch : that he saw evidences of Indians all through his route: 
had pursued them, but had not had any engagement. On his 
return he turned south and went across Clinch, within thirty 
miles of Chota, then turned up Holston and returned home. 
He went out with the hope of finding the camp or town of the 
Hanging Maw, but made no discovery that led to it. 

During the summer of this year, a party of Cherokees inva- 
ded the settlements then forming on Indian Creek. Colonel 
Sevier again raised troops to drive them off. With about 
one hundred men he marched from Washington county, cross- 
ed Nollichucky, and proceeded south of that river to what has 
flince been known as the War Ford, near the present town 
of New Port. Crossing French Broad at that place, and also 
Big Pigeon at the War Ford, he fell unexpectedly upon the 
trail of the Indians, surrounded their camp, and by a sudden 
Are killed seventeen of them. The rest fled and escaped. 


This aflfair was upon Indian Creek, in what is now Jefferson^ 

Scarcely were these troops disbanded when a letter 
received by CoL Sevier from Gen. Greene, dated S^t. 16th»bu1 
not received till several weeks after, urging him to come to- 
his standard with his riflemen, for the purpose of intercepting' 
Lord Cornwallis, should be attempt a retreat through the 
Garolinas to Charleston. That enterprising officer had been 
since June, of 1780, constantly in the field with his regiment, 
in various expeditions against the British, the loyalists and 
the Indians, and their services were still needed at home to 
give protection to the feeble settlements ; but he promptly 
complied with the request of the southern commander, and 
as has been elsewhere nletrrated, repaired to his camp aboot 
the last of October, and remained with Marion on the Santee 
till the enemy were driven to the lines of Charleston ; and the 
period for which his riflemen were enrolled having expired, 
he returned 'to Watauga and there disbanded his regiment. 
This was early in January of 1782. 

Immigrants followed close upon the rear of the army, and 
began to form settlements along the route pursued by it 
south of French Broad. The Cherokees complained of this 
intrusion, which brought from Governor Martin the following : 

"Dakburt, Feb. 11, 1782. 
Gov. Alexander Martin, to GoL John Sevier : 

'' Sir : I am distressed with the repeated complaiDts of the Indians 
respecting the daily intrusions of our people on their lands beyond the 
French Broad River. I beg you, sir, to prevent the injuries these 
savages justly complain of, who are constantly imploring the protection of 
the state and appealing to its justice in vain. By interposing your in- 
fluence on these, our unruly citizens, I think will have sufficient weighty 
without going into extremities disgraceful to them and disagreeable to 
the state. You will, therefore, please to warn these intruders off the 
lands reserved for the Indians by the late act of the Assembly, that ihejr 
remove immediately, at least by the middle of March, otherwise they 
will be drove off. If you find them still refractory at the above time, 
you will draw forth a body of your militia on horseback, and pull down 
their cabins, and drive them off, laying aside every consideration of 
their entreaties to the contrary. You will please to give me the earliest 
information of your proceedings. The Indian goods are not yet arrived 
from Philadelphia, tnrough the inclemency of the late season ; as soon as 


tfaey will be in the State, I shall send them to the Great Islaiul and hold 
a treaty with the Cherokees. 

TheCherokees of the Upper Towns continued to complain 
and remonstrate. 

** A Talk to Colonel Joseph Martin, by the Old Tassel, in Chota, the 

26th of September, 1782, in favour of the whole nation. For His Ex- 

oelleDcy, the Governor of North-Carolina. Present, all the chiefe of the 

friendly towns and a number of young men. . 

Brother : I am now going to speak to you. I hope you will listen to 

me. A string. I intended to come this fall and see you, but there was 

Bttdi eooAuion in our country, I thought it best for me to stay at home 

Mid send my Talks by our firiend Colonel Martin, who promises to do- 

Kfer them safo to you. We are a poor distressed people, that is, in 

great trouble, and we hope our cider brother will take pity on us and 

do nft justice. Your people from Nollichucky are daily pushing us out 

of onr lands. We have no place to hunt on. Your people have built 

hffmm within one day's walk of our towns. We don't want to quarrel 

with onr elder brother ; we, therefore, hope our elder brother will not 

take onr lands from us, that the Great Man above gave us. He made 

a and he made us ; we are all his children, and we hope our elder 
lier will take pity on ns, and not take our lands from us that our 
ftther gave us, because he is stronger than we are. We are the first 
people that ever lived on this land ; it is ours, and why will our elder 
Momer take it from us ? It is true, some time past, the people over the 

Sat water persuaded some of our young men to do some mischief to our 
er brother, which our principal men wero sorry for. But you our 
elder brothers come to our towns and took satisfaction, and then sent 
ferns to come and treat with you, which we did. Then our elder 
hiofher promised to have the line run between us agreeable to the first 
tieafjf and all that should be found over the line should be moved off. 
Bui it is not done yet. We have done nothing to offend our elder 
brother since the last treaty, and why should our elder brother want to 
qoarrel with us 9 We have sent to the Governor of Virginia on the same 
aabgect We hope that between you both, you will take pity on your 
jomiger brother, and send Colonel Sevier, who is a good man, to have all 
jonr people moved off our land. I should say a great deal more, but 
onr friend. Colonel Martin, knows all our grievances, and he can inform 
yoii. A string.^ 

The old Tassel of Chota did not represent the feelings of 
i ^^^ great body of the Cherokees, who still retained 
( their deep-seated animosities against the whites, and 
ia September, of this year, were hurried, by a revengeful 
spirit, against the frontiers. The Chickamauga Indians were 
the least placable of the Cherokee nation, and, imparting 
their hostile feelings to some of the Lower Towns, and also 


to some of the Creeks, they united together and again begai 
their work of murder and depredation upon the more ex — 2 
posed neighbourhoods. Some white men were killed an< 
much property stolen. Colonel Sevier immediately sum- 
moned to his standard a hundred men from Washingtoi 
county, and was joined by Colonel Anderson, with nearly 
many volunteers, from Sullivan. These troops rendezvoosed^E 
at the Big Island, on French Broad, and from that placets 
marched towards the towns of the enemy. The ofiScers in ^M 
this expedition were Jonathan Tipton and James Hubbard, 
majors; and Mr. Green and others, captains. The night 
after they left the Big Island, they camped upon Elyah* 
Creek, at a place now known as McTeer's Mills. They 
crossed Little River the second day, and camped upon Nine- 
Mile Creek. The third day they crossed the Tennessee 
River at Citico, and there held a council with the friendly 
Indians, at which was present the Hanging Maw. They 
engaged to continue the existing peace. Here, also, John 
Watts, who afterwards became a distinguished chief in his 
tribe, was engaged to accompany the expedition, to effect^ 
by friendly negotiation, an arrangement for peace with the 
entire nation. On the fifth day they crossed the Tellico, on 
the Hiwassee trace. On the sixth day they encamped on 
the Hiwassee River, above what is now called '* The former 
Agency." Crossing that stream, on the seventh day, they 
encamped at an Indian town upon the opposite bank. There 
they entered upon the territory of the hostile Indians. Thence 
they marched, immediately, against Vann's Towns, and re- 
duced them to ashes. Thencie to Bull Town, on the head of 
Chickamauga Creek. The troops destroyed the town, and 
marched, thirty miles, to Coosa River. Near a village, on 
that stream, they killed a white man, who called himself 
Clements. In his possession were found papers which 
showed that he had been a British sergeant ; he was then 
living with an Indian woman, Nancy Coody, and, it was 
believed, had instigated the warriors of her town to main- 
tain their hostile attitude. Bean, one of the soldiers, shot 
him dead. The troops then marched to Spring Frog Town, 

• Elijah— Anglice, Owl Creek. 


'thence up Coosa to Estanaula, which they destroyed. After 
killing all the warriors they could find, and burning their 
villages, the troops returned, by the Old Hiwassee Towns, 
to Chota, on the Tennessee River. Here another council 
was held with the friendly Indians, and the troops returned 
home by the same route they had gone.* 

Daring the infancy of the settlements on Nollichucky, com 
had become scarce, and availing themselves of a short sus^ 
pension of hostilities, Jeremiah Jack and William Rankin, 
of Greene county, descended the river in a canoe, for the pur- 
pose of bartering with the Indians for corn. They reached 
Coiatee without interruption. The warriors of that place 
refoaed to exchange or sell the corn, and manifested other 
signs of suspicion, if not of open enmity. They entered the 
canoe and lifted up some wearing apparel lying in it, and 
which covered their rifles. This discovery increased the un- 
willingness of the Indians to tradcy'^and they began to show 
a disposition to oflTer violence to their white visitants. The 
beloved woman, Nancy Ward, was happily present, ani was 
wMe by her commanding influence to appease their wrath, 
and to bring about friendly feelings between the parties. 
The little Indians were soon clad in the home made vest- 
ments brought by the traders — the canoe was filled with corn, 
and the white men started on their return voyage well pleased 
^th the exchange they had made, and especially with the 
Idmd offices of the beloved woman. 

On their return, the white men landed and camped one night, 
a mile above the mouth of French Broad, on the north bank of 
the little sluice of that river. Mr. Jack was so well pleased 
with the place, that he afterwards selected it as his future 
residence, and actually settled and improved it on his emi- 
gration to the present Knox county, in 1787. 

The district of Salisbury, by Act of Assembly, was divi- 
ded, and the counties of Berke, Wilkes, Rutherford, Lincoln, 
Washington and Sullivan, erected into the district of Mor- 

A Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Deli- 
Twy, was provided to be held by one of the Judges, at Jones- 

* Haywood. 


boro*, for Washington and Sullivan counties. This was done' 
on account of '' the extensive mountains that lie desolate 
between the inhabited parts of Washington, and the inhabi- 
ted parts of Berke counties.** 

** At a Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Deli- 
very, for the counties of Washington and Sullivan, begun 
and held on the 1 5th of August, 1782. Present, the Hon. 
Spruce McCay, Esq. Waightstill Avery, Esq., was appointed 
Attorney for the State, and John Sevier, Clerk,*' 

**1782, February Term. William Cocke was admitted to 
practice Law. If 63, November Court, F. A. Ramsey quali- 
fied as Surveyor.*** 

The peace procured by the several campaigns already 
mentioned, was momentarily interrupted by the conduct of 
James Hubbard, and a comrade no less wicked and reckless. 
They were shooting at a mark with two Indians. During 
the shooting one of the warriors was killed — the other es- 
caped and fled to the nation. It was believed that Hubbard 
had killed the Indian designedly, and that a border war 
would be the consequence. The settlers assembled together 
at Henry*s, near the mouth of Dumplin, and there built a 
station. A half breed passing through the neighbourhood, 
was requested to procure a friendly conference between his 
exasperated countrymen and the settlers. The conference 
was held at Gist*s, now Underwood's. Six or eight Chero- 
kees attended there, having crossed the river at Henry's. 
Soon after their arrival, Hubbard and a gang of mischievous 
associates came in. They had been way-laying the Indians 
on the other side of French Broad, and having missed them, 
followed on to Gist's. For fear of further mischief, the In- 
dians were kept in the centre of the white men in attendance. 
Hubbard, desirous of another outbreak, slipped up to one of 
the Indians and whispered to him to run, as the whites in- 
tended to kill them. Captain James White told him to re- 
main and they would protect them. Thus reassured, the 
Indians remained — the conference was held — the difficulty 
was satisfactorily adjusted and peace prolonged. 

The acquisition of territory, made from time to time, by 

* Court Records. 


leases, purchases and treaties, from the Cherokees, had uni- 
formly been small. The wisdom of this policy was seen in 
every step in the growth and enlargement of the frontier 
settlements. The lease to Robertson, of the Watauga colo- 
ny, confined that infant settlement to a limited area, which 
took at first, and retained for some time afterwards, a com- 
pact form, that favoured defence and gave an easier protec- 
tion from Indian aggression. The same may be said of 
other leases and purchases. Had relinquishments of larger 
extent of territory been obtained, the adventurous disposition 
of the settlers would have led them so far into the wilder- 
ness, and spread them over so large a section of country, 
as to have deprived them of mutual protection in times of 
war and danger. The first ten years of its existence, the 
yonng community west of the mountain maintained a com- 
pact form, and could assume a defensive attitude upon any 
■adden alarm. Its gradual expansion served also to quiet 
Indian jealousy of encroachment from the whites. But, 
almost imperceptibly, the seed of civilization had been 
planted, was firmly fixed in the soil, was germinating under 
saecessful culture, was producing its fruits of permanent 
society and established government. Its eradication was 
impossible. Still, it was found necessary to restrain the too 
rapid expansion of the frontier. The General Assembly of 
North-Carolina deemed it inexpedient to continue the Land 
Office open, and, accordingly, in June, of J 781, closed it. It 
was not opened again, till after the end of the revolutionary 
war. In May, of 1783, the Assembly opened an office for 
the sale of western lands, for the purpose of paying the 
arrears then due the officers and soldiers of that part of the 
eontinental line which was raised in North-Carolina, and of 
extinguishing her part of the national debt. Without any 
previous consultation with the Indians, the Assembly en- 
larged the western boundary — 

** Beginning on the line which divided that state from Virginia, at a 
point due north of the mouth of Cioud*s Creek ; running thence west to 
the Miasinippi ; thence down the MiMissippi to the thirtj-fifth degree of 
north latitude ; thence due east, until it strikes the Apalachian Moun- 
tlini ; thence with the Apalachian Mountains to the ridge that divides 
the wsten of Frendi Broad River and the waters of NoUichucky River, 


•nd with that nige, until it strikes the line described in the set of 11 
oommonly called llrown's Line, and nitb that line and Uioaa Mfi 
vater courses to the beginning." 

But a tract of country was reserved for the Cherol 
bunting grounds — ■ 

" Beginning at tha TennewM, where the sonthem boundary of Koi 
Carolina intersects the pame, nearest to the Chickamauga Towm> ; tbe 
np the middle of the Tennessee and Rolaton to the middle of Frei 
Broad River, which line;* arc not to include anv island or islands in i 
river, to the mouth of Bigl^gbon River; thence np the lameto tliebi 
thereof; tbence along the dividing ridge between the waters of I^ 
'Bivei and TuckasejVi River, to tbo southern boundair of this state.' 

The Assembly of North-Carolina took into considerati 
the claim set up by Henderson and company, under I 
Transylvania purchase. It was considered that the compa 
was entitled to a handsome remuneration for their expeni 
in holding the treaty and buying the territory, and an i 
was accordingly passed granting to Richard Henderson a 
his associates two hundred thousand acres of land, to be li 
off in one survey, and with the following boundaries. "Beg: 
ning at the Old Indian Tower, in Powell's Valley, runni 
down Powell's River, not less than four miles in width, 
one or both sides thereof to the junction of PovvelTs a 
Clinch Rivers ; then down Clinch River, on one or both sidi 
not less than twelve miles in width, for the complement 
two hundred thousand acres." Thenceforward all dout 
were removed as to the right of the state to grant the otb 
lands on tbe western waters, which were contained with 
the bounds specified in the Indian deeds to the company. 

At the same session, an Act was pafiscd authorizing tl 
governor to hold a treaty with the Chickamauga and Ovc 
hill Cherokees, and also with those of the Middle and Valli 
settlement, at the Long Island. Joseph Martin is appoint 
by the same Act, agent. It is made his duty to visit the I 
dian country once in six months, deliver the governor's mc 
sages and receive the talks of the Indians, record them inh 
Journal, etc. 

In order that all dealing and intercourse with the Cher 
keea should he carried on in tbe most friendly and aprig 
manner, it was fardier provided that no one but "men of tl 


most upright, uuexceptionable, honest characters,'* should be 
licensed to trade with them. 

Daring the same session of the Assembly, the county of 
i Washington was again divided, and a new county 
( erected, which was called Greene, in honour of Gen. 
Nathaniel Greene, under whose general command many of 
the western riflemen had acted their part in the Revolution, 
and whose valour and skill had done so much in establishing 
the Independence of the United States. 

** On the third Monday in August, the Court of Pleas and 
Quarter Sessions, for Greene county, met at the house of 
Mr. Robert Carr. Present, Joseph Hardin, John Newman, 
George Doherty,- James Houston, Amos Bird, and Asahel 
Rawlings, Esqs. ; Daniel Kennedy wa$ elected Clerk, and 
James Wilson, Sheriflf; William Cocke, Esq., Attorney for 
the State ; Joseph Hardin, Junr., Entry-Taker ; Isaac Tay- 
lor, Surveyor; Richard Wood, Register. *** 

Jeflferson county, as known at present, received its first 
settlers in this year. These were Robert McFarland, Alex- 
ander Outlaw, Thomas Jarnagin, James Hill, Wesley White, 
James Randolph, Joseph Copeland, Robert Gentry and James 
Hubbard. The first of these made a crop in 1782, at the 
bend of Chucky, and the next year moved his family to that 
place. Capt Jarnagin settled four miles above the mouth 
of Chucky, on the north side ; James Hill, a mile lower 
down ; Wesley White, immediately opposite Taylor's Bend ; 
Robert Gentry, four miles above Dandridge ; Joseph Cope- 
land settled this year south of the French Broad, seven miles 
above Dandridge. 

The settlements had reached as far as Long Creek, in the 
1784 \ present Jefierson county, as at this session of the 
( court, '^ Thomas Jarnagin hath leave to build a mill 
on Long Creek." 

" A tax was laid, at the same time, of one shilling in specie 
for each one hundred pounds value of taxable property, for 
the purpose of erecting public buildings. An appropriation 
of eight pounds was also made to Mr. Carr, for the use of his 
house in which the court met. At August Term, a road 
was laid out from the mouth of Bent Creek to the mouth of 

* County Reoorda. 

278 OEir. WHITE Am col. ram»bt explore the countrt. 

Dumplin (now Sevier). Also from the county line south of 
Chucky, and where the War Path crosRses the same, the 
nearest and best way to the War Ford, on Pigeon (now 
Cocke county). 

^ Ordered, that a Bench Warrant issue to Captain John 
Newman, to take suspected persons. 

" At November Sessions, leave was granted to Thomas 
Stockton to build a mill on French Broad, at Christianas 
Ford" (now Sevier county).* 

In AuTUst, of this year, the late General James White, 
1788 \ ^^'* Robert Love and Col. F. A. Ramsey and others; 
( for the purpose of locating land warrants, explored 
the country as low as the confluence of theHolston and Ten* 
nessee. They crossed the French Broad at the War Ford. 
There were but few inhabitants then south of Chucky. At 
the mouth of Pigeon, Mr. Gilliland had corn growing, but no 
cabin had then been erected there. A few miles below his 
clearing, the remains of three or four Indians were found ; they 
ha3 been killed several days before. The explorers con- 
tinued on the south side of the river as low down as 
the mouth of Dumplin Creek, near which they recrossed 
French Broad and fell down between that and Holston, pass- 
ing the Swan Pond and crossing Holston a few miles above, 
where Knoxville now stands. Their route was continued 
through the Grassy Valley to the mouth of Holston. It was 
upon this tour that General White and Col. Ramsey .saw 
the lands, which they afterwards entered and eventually 
occupied in the present Knox county. 

The Indians, late in this year, commenced hostilities, hy 
stealing horses and cattle, and retreating across the Pigeon 
Mountains, in what is now Cocke county. Major Peter 
Fine raised a few men and pursued them. After killing one 
Indian and wounding another, and regaining the stolen 
property, they began their return and encamped. They 
were fired upon in the night by the savages, who had fol- 
lowed their tracks. Vinet Fine, a brother of the major, 
was killed, and Thomas Holland and Mr. Bingham were 
wounded. After the departure of the Indians, who hung 
around the camp till morning, the white men broke a hole 

* Coaotjr Reoordf. 


in the ice and pat the body of V. Fine in the creek, which 
has ever since been called Fine's Greek. The wounded 
men were brought in, in safety, and recovered. 

It continued to be necessary for two years, to keep out 
scouts between Pigeon and French Broad. In this time 
Nehemiah and Simeon Odell were killed, scalped and their 
guns taken. A boy ten years old, named Nelson, was killed 
and his horse taken seven miles up Pigeon. McCoy's Fort 
was built on French Broad, three miles above New Port 
Wbitson's, on Pigeon, ten miles above New Port, where 
HcNabb since lived ; Wood's, five miles below. These 
were all guarded several years. 

The General Assembly laid off a district for the ex- 
clusive satisfaction of the officers and soldiers of the late 
continental line, whi(^i was raised in North-Carolina. The 
claims to be satisfied, were founded upon certain promises 
held out to them by the legislature, in May, 1780. Shortly 
afterwards it was provided, that in case of a deficiency of 
good land in this district, to satisfy these claims, the same 
might be entered upon any vacant land in the state, which 
flhould be appropriated for their satisfaction, by grant.* 

On th^ 20th of October, seventeen hundred and eighty- 
three, John Armstrong's office was opened, at Hillsborough, 
for the sale of the western lands not included in these reser- 
vations, nor in the counties of Washington and Sullivan, at 
the rate of ten pounds, specie certificates, per hundred. 
These certificates had been issued by Board:^ of Auditors, 
appointed by public authority, for services performed and 
articles impressed or furnished in the time of the revolu- 
tionary war, and were made payable in specie. The lands 
were to be entered in tracts of five thousand acres or less, 
at the option of the enterer. By the 25th of May, 1784, 
▼ast quantities of land were entered, and certificates, to a 
very large amount, had been paid into the public offices.f 
. By a subsequent law of the next session, the surVeyor of 
Greene county was allowed to survey all lands for which 
warrants might be granted by John Armstrong, lying west- 
ward of the Apalachian Mountains, and including all the 

* Haywood. f I^^iia* 

MO nHAiTcirraAOBt 


lands on the waters of Holston, from tbe month of Frcmeh 
Broad River, upwards to the bounds of Washington aod 
Sullivan counties, exelusive of the entries omde by the entiy 
taker of Greene county. 

By the eighth article of the treaty of 1768, it was provided 
that the nawgation of the Mississippi River ^fi^om its someeio 
tike oeean^ shall^ forever^ remain free and open to the subjecie of 
Qreat Britain ani the citizens of the United States. 

In conformity with the ninth article of confederation. Gob* 
gtess issued a proclamation, prohibiting all persons from 
making setlements on lands inhabited or claimed bylndiann^ 
without the limits or jurisdiction of any particular state^ and 
from purchasing or , receiving any gift or cession of saeh 
lands without the express authority and directions of the 
Uiiited States in Congress assembled. 

The state of peace brought with it new motives for ever- 
tion in all the industrial pursuits of life, and new incentives 
to patriotism. Tbe country had secured to itself indepen- 
dence ; each citizen became proud of his connexion with it^ 
and felt that, as he had had an agency in giving to the 
government form, vitality and vigour, he was also responsi- 
ble for its success, prosperity and enlargement. The ten- 
dency westward was greatly increased, and multitudes of 
emigrants from tbe Middle and Southern States turned their 
eyes upon the new lands in the West. -Holston, Cumberland 
and Kentucky, each received its share of enterprising and 
•resolute men, willing to undergo the hardships and brave 
the perils of the wilderness. The facility of procuring cheap 
and fertile lands induced a new and large emigration to what 
is now Upper East Tennessee. The settlements upon the 
French Broad and its tributaries extended rapidly. This in- 
duced a renewal of hostilities on the border settlements, and 
Major Fine and Col. Liliard raised^ company of thirty men, 
and penetrated through the mountains to the Over-hill Town of 
Gowee, and burned it. From this town the aggressions 
against the Pigeon settlements had been principally made. 
These were afterwards less frequent. 

In seventeen hundred and eighty-four, the frontier inhabit 
tants were clearing their fields and building their cabins as 
low down as the Big Island, and along the banks of the 


Big and Little Pigeon. A few adventurers were also on 
i Boyd's Credk, south of French Broad. North of Hol- 
( ston they were extending their improvements, within 
a few miles of the present Rogersville. Heretofore, none but 
men of little or no fortune had crossed the mountain. A pack- 
horse carried all the effects of an emigrating family. The 
country could now be reached, not as at first, only by a trace, 
but by wagon roads. This invited men of larger property, 
and society began to put on the aspect of permanence and 
respectability. Forts and stations bad served as places for 
private and public instruction in learning and religion, ag 
"well as for the administration of justice. Now, in the oldest 
part of the settlements, might occasionally be seen the back- 
wood's school-house, without floors or windows, and at still 
greater intervals an equally unpretending building set apart 
for public worship. At Jonesboro', in Washington county, 
the first court-house in Tennessee had been erected. It was 
built of round logs, fresh from the adjacent forest — was co- 
vered in the fashion of cabins of the pioneers, with clap- 

Improvement was the order of the day, and ** The court 
recommend that there be a court-house built in the following 
manner, viz : 24 feet square, diamond corners, and hewn down 
after it is built up ; 9 feet high between the two floors ; body 
of the house 4 feet above upper floor ; floors neatly laid with 
plank; shingles of roof to be hung with pegs. A justice's 
bench ; a lawyer's and clerk's bar ; also, a sheriff's box to 
ait in." * 

But improvement and progress and change had dawned 
upon its future fortunes, and Jonesboro', already distinguish- 
ed as the oldest town established in the present Tennessee, 
the centre of much of the intelligence and political influence 
in the new country, and the seat of its courts, was now to be- 
come the scene of exciting events — the theatre on which, at 
first, the master spirits of the frontier should co-operate and 
harmonize upon their political organization, and the arena 
where afterwards they became factionists and partizans, for 
and against the State of Franklin. The history of that an- 
eient commonwealth will be given in the next chapter. 

* Countj Records. 

882 flTATS or FEAMKIiUr. 



The revolutionary war was now ended, and the indepaa- 
( denoe of the United States acknowledged by England, 
I and some of the great powers on the Eastern c<m- 
tinent. The transition from a state of provincial vassalage 
and colonial dependence to self government, was sodden, and 
in some of the states almost imperceptible. 'The chango 
from a monarchy to a republic, brought with it, here ana 
there over the country, a little of the spirit of insubordina- 
tion, but to a much more limited extent than, under existing 
circumstances, might have been expected. The boundary 
between liberty and licentiousness, has at no time and in no 
place, been better understood and more strictly observed, 
than at the close of the American Revolution, and by the peo- 
ple of the new republics then entering upon a new theatre of 
national existence. Still, under the recent order of things, it is 
not matter of wonder that there should be immature concep* 
tions of the nature of government and mistaken views of public 
policy, and that even lawlessness and violence should result 
from error and inexperience. To a limited extent it was so. 
The wonder rather is, that so little anarchy, misrule and in- 
subordination existed amid the chaos, convulsions and up- 
turnings of society, which the separation of the colonies from 
the parent government produced, and where the rights of the 
people were substituted for the prerogatives of sovereignty. 

Apart from these considerations, there was a further diffi- 
culty involving the honour, the stability and almost the exis- 
tence, of the United States government. 

In achieving their independence, the states had each con- 
1784 i tracted a large debt upon its own treasury, for expen- 
( ses incurred during the war. In addition to this, Con- 
gress had created a heavy liability upon the general trea- 
sury for advances made by American citizens and foreign- 


ers, to meet expenditures growing out of a protracted conflict. 
While the country received the news of an honourable and 
advantageous peace with acclamations of joy and triumph, 
government felt itself borne down by its heavy public indebt- 
edness, and harassed by the importunate clamour of its pub- 
lic creditors. Among the expedients adopted by Congress to 
lighten this burden, replenish its treasury and increase its 
exhausted credit, was the recommendation to such of the 
states as owned vajcant and unappropriated lands, to throw 
them into the common stock, cede them to. the United States, 
and out of the joint fund thus created, liquidate the common 
debt. North-Carolina was one of these. She owned a vast 
amount of unappropriated lands in that portion of her west- 
em territory extending from the Aileghanies to the Missis- 
sippi. Sympathizing with Congress in the distress and diffi- 
culty resulting from the embarrassed financial condition of 
the Union, the General Assembly of North-Carolina, at its 
April session of this year, at Hillsborough, adopted measures 
to relieve them. Taxes were laid for this purpose, and au- 
thority was given to Congress to collect them, and also to 
levy a duty on foreign merchandize. Partly for the same 
reason, and for others which will hereafter be noticed, the As- 
sembly passed an aet in June, ceding to the Congress of the 
United States the western lands, as therein described, and 
authorized the North Carolina delegates to execute a deed for 
the same. In this cession thus authorized, was embraced all 
the territory now constituting the State of Tennessee, and 
including, of necessity, the trans-montane counties, Washing- 
ton, Sullivan, Greene and Davidson.* 

By an additional act of the same session, it was declared 
that the sovereignty and jurisdiction of North-Carolina in and 
over the territory thus ceded, and all its inhabitants, should 
be and remain the same in all respects, until the United States, 
in Congress, should accept of the cession. It had been pro- 
vided in the cession act that if Congress should not accept in 
two years, the act was thenceforward to be of no eCect. 

The Assembly, at the same session, closed the land office 

* DftYidsoii oouDtj waa erected in 1788, on Comberland, as will be elaewhert 

SM qpMnkVKTn of w^mtobm couwrmM. 

for the Western Territory, and aoUifiad all entries of laad, 
except as therein specified. 

Members from the four western counties were present at 
Hillsborough, and voted for the act of cession. They had 
observed a growing disinclination on the part of the legisla* 
tore to make any provision for the protection and defenoa of 
the Western people, or to discharge the debts that had. been 
contracted in guarding the frontiers, or inflicting chaati— 
ments upon the Indians. Accounts for these pui^poses had 
been, and of necessity would continue to be, large and iiro* 
quent. These demands against the treasury of the stata 
were received reluctantly — were scrutinized with tho u^ 
most caution, and paid grudgingly. Often they were re- 
jected as informal or unauthorized. It was intimated eves, 
that some of these demands were fabricated by the Western 
people, and that the property of the citizens east of the 
mountains was wrongly and uigustly taken to cancel the 
debts of their Western brethren. 

It will be recollected that the Bill of Rights, which was 
adopted at the same time with the Constitution of North- 
Carolina, bad made provision for the formation of a new 
state or states out of her Western Territory. Her western 
settlements were becoming expensive and burdensome to 
her, and as the time was at hand when a new and indepen- 
dent state might be formed out of them, her rulers felt it to 
be impolitic, to be very lavish in expenditures, for those who 
might soon become strangers to her peculiar interests, or 
members of a separate organization. The West complained 
of inadequate provision on the part of North-Carolina for 
their necessities, while the mother state lost no opportunity to 
impute to her remote children in the wilderness extravagance 
and profligacy — filial ingratitude and disobedience. To the 
influence of these mutual criminations and recriminations, 
may be traced the hasty passage of the cession act of June, 

The members from the four western counties, immediately 
after the adjournment of the Assembly, at Hillsborough, re- 
turned home. They brought with them the first intelligence 
that had reached the West, of the passage of the cession act. 


The impression was generally entertained, that Congress 
woald not formally accept the cession of the Western Terri- 
tory for the space of two years, and that, during that period, 
the new settlements being under the protection neither of 
Congress nor of North-Carolina, would be left in a state of 
anarchy, without aid or support from abroad, and unable to 
command, under the existing state of affairs, their own re- 
soarees at home. This aspect of their condition was made 
the more diilcoaraging and alarming, from the consideration 
that heretofore no provision had been made for the establish- 
ment of a Superior Court west of the mountains. Violation 
of law was permitted to pass unpunished, except by the 
Eommary process of the Regulators appointed for that pur> 
po0e» by the people themselves. Nor was the military organi- 
zation adequate to the exigencies of the new settlements. 
There was no brigadier-general allowed by law to call into 
■ervice the militia of the counties, or to concentrate its ener- 
gies on sudden emergencies. This defect was the more dan- 
geroas, and the more sensibly felt, now when Indian aggression 
eontinned. With a frontier exposed to the inroads of a sa- 
vage enemy, and with no authority amongst themselves to 
whom the settlers could apply for assistance — with the set- 
tlements infested with culprits of every degree of guilt, re- 
Itagees from other places, and escaping to these seclusions on 
acoount of their supposed immunity from conviction and 
punishment — distracted by the apprehension of an uncertain 
or questionable allegiance, ceded by the parent state, not yet 
accepted by their federal owners — depressed by the contem- 
plation of the state of political orphanage to which they 
were now reduced, and of the anarchy which must result 
from it— the opinion became general with the entire popula- 
tion that the sacred duty devolved upon themselves to de- 
Tise the means — to draw upon their own resources— and, by 
a manly self reliance, to extricate the inhabitants of the ceded 
territory from the unexpected difficulties by which they were 
suddenly surrounded. Self protection is the first law of na- 
ture. Salus populi suprema lex. The frontier was sufiering 
ctastantly by Indian perfidy and assailed by Indian atro- 

886 vnaxBi or ooHYunn<ni cBocn* 

city, and the settlers seemed to hold their lives by the pei 
mission and at the will of their Cherokee neighbours. 

In this dilemma it was proposed that in each captain'ji 
company two representatives of the people shoald be electa 
edy who should assemble, as committees, in their respective 
counties, to deliberate upon the state of public affauri^ 
and recommend some general plan of action suited to th« 
emergency. These committees, for Washington, SuUiv«a 
and Greene, met and recommended the election of deputies 
from each of the counties, to assemble in oonventioa at 
Jonesboro', with power to adopt such measures as they 
should deem advisable. The election of deputies to the 
convention was held, and resulted in the choice for Wash- 
ington county of John Sevier, Charles Robertson, William 
Purphey, Joseph Wilson, John Irvin, Samuel Houston, Wit 
liam Trimble, William Cox, Landon Carter, Hugh Heqiy, 
Christopher Taylor, John Chisolm, Samuel Doak, William 
Campbell, 3eigamin Holland, John Bean, Samuel WiUiams^ 
and Richard White. 

For the county of Sullivan — ^Joseph Martin, Gilbert Chris- 
tian, William Cocke, John Manifee, William Wallace, John 
Hall, Saml. Wilson, Stockley Donelson, and William Evans. 

For the county of Greene — Daniel Kennedy, Alexander 
Outlaw, Joseph Gist, Samuel Weir, Asahel Rawlings, Joseph 
Ballard, John Maughon, John Murphey, David Campbell, 
Archibald Stone, Abraham Denton, Charles Robinson, and 
Elisha Baker. 

Davidson county sent no delegates ; probably none were 

These deputies, on the day appointed, August 2dd, as- 
sembled at Jonesboro'. John Sevier was appointed pi^eai- 
dent of the convention. Landon Carter was the secretary. 
' Immediately after its organization, the convention raised 
a committee, to take into consideration the state of public 
affairs, and especially the cession of her Western Territory, 
by North-Carolina to Congress. 

The committee consisted of Messrs. Cocke, Oi^law, Car- 
ter, Campbell, Manifee, Martin, Robinson, Houston, Chris- 
tian, Kennedy and Wilson. 


While discussing and deliberating upon the object of the 
convention, the committee came to its conclusion in the 
following manner : '* A member rose and made some re- 
marks on the variety of opinions offered, for and against 
a separation, and taking from his pocket a volume con- 
taing the Declaration of Independence by the colonies in 
1776, commented upon the reasons which induced their sepa- 
ration from England, on account of their local situation, etc., 
and attempted to show that a number of the reasons they 
had for declaring independence, applied to the counties here 
represented by their deputies/^ 

^ After this member had taken his seat, another arose and 
moved to declare the three western counties independent of 
North-Carolina, which was unanimously adopted" by the 
eommittee.* This decision was submitted to the conven- 
tion in the following 


** Your Committee are of opinion and judge it expedient, that the 
Counties of Washington, Sullivan and Qreene, which the Cession Bill 
pivticaUrlj respects, form themselves into an Association and combine 
themselves together, in order to support the present laws of North Caro- 
lina, which may not he incompatible with the modes and forms of lay- 
ing off anew state. It is the opinion of your committee, that we have a 
Joit and undeniable right to petition to Congress to accept the cession 
made by North-Carolina, and for that body to countenance us in form- 
ingouraelves into a separate government, and either to frame a permanent 
or temporary constitution, agreeably to a resolve of Congress, in such 
case made and provided, as nearly as circumstances will admit We 
bare a right to keep and hold a Convention from time to time, 'by 
meeting and convening at such place or places as the said Convention 
•hall adjourn to. When any contiguous part of Virginia shall make ap- 
pKcation to join this Association, after they are legally permitted, either 
Dj the State of Virginia, or other power having cognizance thereof, it is 
our opinion that they be received and enjoy the same privileges that wo 
do, may or shall enjoy. This Convention has a right to adopt and pre* 
acribe such regulations as the particular exigencies of the time and the 
public good may require ; that one or more persons ought to be sent to 
represent our situation in the Congress of the United States, and this 
Convention has just right and authority to prescribe a regular mode for 
lut support'' 

This report was received and adopted by the convention. 
The question was then taken. 

of Rev. 8. Houston. 


** On moticm of Mr. Cocke, whether for or igaiiMfc formhig ooreeb«s 
into a separate and distinct state, indeDendent of the State of North- 
Carolina, atikis time^ it was carried in tne affirmative. 

^ On motioQ of Mr. E^ennedj, the yeas and nays were ta&en on the 
above question. 

'* Yeai, — Mr. Tirril, Samms, North, Taylor, Andoion, Hoaston, Oo^ 
Talbot, Joseph Wilson, Trimble, Reese, John Anderson, Manifee, Chria* 
tian, Carnes, A. Taylor, FiU^rald, Cavit, Looney, Cocke, B. Gist, Baw- 
fings, Bnllard, Joshua Gist, Valentitte Sevier, Robinson, Evana anil 
Miuighan. (28.) 

** Nay$. — John Tipton, Joseph Tipton, Stuart, Mazfidd, D. Loonej. 
Vincent, Cage, Provincer, Gammon, Davisi Kennedy, Newman, Weai^ 
James Wilson and CampbelL" (15.) 

The manuscript from which the above is taken, was found 
among the papers of Genei^al Kennedy. It is without a date 
upon it It is not known from the paper itself, ^hich of the 
conventions had these proceedings. It was probably at the 
first convention at Jonesboro', in August, 1784^ That body, 
however, consisted of forty members, and at this calling of 
the yeas and nays, forty-three voted. Some names are also 
found in this list of members, which are not put down in the 
convention at Jonesboro'. Credentials were of little conse- 
quence at that day, and perhaps were not required from 
members. This may account for the discrepancy, both as to 
the names and members of the convention. 

It was then agreed that a member from the door of the 
house inform the crowd in the street of the decision. Proela- 
mation was accordingly made before the anxious spectators, 
who seemed unanimously , to give to the proceedings, their 
consent and approbation. In pursuance of one of its recom« 
mendations, the convention appointed Messrs. Cocke and 
Hardin a committee to draw up and form the plan of asso* 
ciation. That plan was presented the next day to the con- 
vention in the following report : 

^To remove the doubts of the scrupulous ; to encourage the timid, 
and to induce all, harmoniously and sp^dily, to enter into a firm asso- 
ciation, let the following particulars be maturely considered. If we 
should be so happy as to have a separate government, vast numbers 
from different quarters, with a little encouragement from the public, 
would fill up our frontier, which would strengthen us, improve agiicul- 
ture, perfect manufactures, encourage literf^ure and every thing truly 
laudable. The seat of government being among ourselves, would evi- 
dently tend, not only to keep a circulatuig medium in gold and silver 


among ns, but draw it frora many individuals living in otber states, who 
claim large quantities of lands that would lie in the bounds of the new 
state. Add to the foregoing reasons, the many schemes as a body, we 
could execute to draw it among us, and the sums which many travel' 
lers out of curiosity, and men in public business, would expend amonff 
us. But all the^ advantages, acquired and accidental, together wim 
many more that might be mentioned, whilst we are connected with the 
old counties, may not only be nearly useless to us, but many of them 
prove injurious ; and this will always be the case during a connexion 
with them, because they are the most numerous, and consequently will 
always be able to make us subservient to them ; that our interest must 
be generally neglected, and sometimes sacrificed, to promote theirs, as 
was instanced in a late taxation act, in which, notwithstanding our local 
situation and improvement being so evidently inferior, that it is unjust 
to tax our lands equally, yet they have expressly done it ; and our lands, 
at the same time, not of one fourth of the same value. And to make 
it still more apparent that we should associate the whole councils of the 
stale, the Continental Congress, by their resolves, invite us to it The 
assembly of North-Carolina by their late cession bill, opened the door, 
and by their prudent measures invite to it ; and as a closing reason to 
induce to a speedy association, our late convention chosen to consider 
public afiairs, and concert measures, as appears from their resolves, have 
QDammously agreed that we should do it, by signing the following ar- 

*^Fir8t That we agree to entrust the consideration of public affiurs, 
and the prescribing rules necessary to a convention, to be chosen by 
each company as fellows : — That if any company should not exceed 
thirty, there be one representative ; and wher^it contains fifty, there be 
two ; and so in proportion, as near as may be, and that their regulations 
be reviewed by the association. 

* Secondly. As the welfare of our common country depends much on 
the friendly disposition of Congress, and their rightly understanding our 
situation, we do therefore unanimously agree, speedily to furnish a per- 
son with a reasonable support, to present our memorial, and negotiate 
our business in Congress. 

"Thirdly. As the welfare of the community also depends much on 
public spirit, benevolence and regard to virtue, we therefore unanimously 
affree to improve and cultivate these, and to discountenance every thing 
0? a'oontradictory and repugnant nature. 

"Fourthly. We unanimously agree to protect this association with 
our lives and fortunes, to which we pledge our faith and reputation." 

These report being concurred in, on motion of Mr. Cocke, 
it was 

**JSe9alved^ That the clerks of the county courts who have the bonds 
and recognizance of any officers, shcrifi^ and collectors, who have col- 
lected any of the public monies, or are about now to collect any of the 
same, are hereby specially commanded and required to hold said bonds 
ill their possession and custody, until some mode be adopted and pre- 


S80 HEW ooNvnrnoM breaks up nr cohfusioii. 

•cribed to have our accounts iairly aad properij liquidated vith tb* 
State of North-Carolina. And they resolved, further^ tli^t all the aj^- 
riflb and collectors, who have before collected any of the publip inoBice^ 
shall be called on, and render due accounts of the monies that tliej 
have collected and have in their hands, or may collect by virtue of their 

"^Messrs. White and Doak moved, and were permitted to enter their 
against both of these resolutions, because, in their opioioD, it 
was contrary to law to detain the bonds." 

The depaties then took into consideration the propriety of 
having a new convention called to form a constitutionp aind 
give a name to the Independent State. They decided tluU 
eaeh oonnty should ekct five membera to the coaventiiHi— ^ 
the same number that had been elected in 1776^ to form the 
cboatitution of North-Carolina. They fixed the time and 
place of meeting to be at Jonesboro', on the 16ih of Septeobi 
ber, and then adjourned. 

For some reason not now distinctly knov^n, the convention 
did not meet till November, and then broke up in great ^bppir 
fusion. The members bad not harmonized upon the details 
of the plan of association. There was a still greater con- 
flict of opinion amongst their respective constituencies, a^id 
in a new community the voice of a constituent is always 
omnipotent, and musttiot be disregarded. Each party ^vas 
tenacious of its own plan, and clamourous for its adoption. 
Some preferred a longer adherence to the mother state, under 
the expectation and hope that by the legislation of North- 
Carolina, many, if not all, of the grievances which had dig* 
affected her western counties, would be soon redressed. Her 
Assembly was then in session at Newbern, and did repeal 
the act for ceding her western territory to Congress. During 
the same session they also formed a judicial district of the 
four western counties, and appointed an assistant judge and 
an attorney-general for the Superior Court, which was di- 
rected to be held at Jonesboco'. The Assembly also formed 
the militia of Washington District into a brigade, and ap- 
pointed Col. John Sevier the brigadier-general. 

In the law repealing the cession act, it is mentioned as the 
reason for the repeal: '*That the Cession, so intended, was 
made in full confidence that the whole expense of the Indian 
expeditions, and militia aids to the States of South-Carolina 


and Georgia, should pass to account in our quota of the 
continental expenses in the late war; and, also, that the 
other states, holding western territory, would make similar 
cessions, and that all the states would unanimously grant 
imposts of five per cent, as a common fund for the discharge 
of the federal debt ; and, whereas, the States of Massachu- 
setts and Connecticut, after accepting the cessions of New- 
York and Virginia, have since put in claims for the whole 
or a large part of that territory, and all the above expected 
measures for constituting a substantial common fund have 
been either frustrated or delayed ;" — the said act is, there- 
fore, repealed. On account of the remote situation of the 
ivestern counties, these causes of the legislation of the 
parent state were not well understood across the mountain, 
or were so misrepresented as to give rise to the charge, 
against North-Carolina, of fickleness, or rather to the imputa- 
tion of neglect and inattention towards the new settlements. 
But '^ revolutions never go backwards;" the masses had 
been put in motion ; some steps had been taken in remo-> 
deling their governments — a change was desired. A new 
convention was determined on, and, accordingly, another 
electioA was held, and deputies were again chosen to a future 
convention. On the day of the election, at Jonesboro', Gene- 
ral Sevier declared himself satisfied with the provisions that 
had been made by the Legislature of North-Carolina in favour 
of the western people, and, enumerating them in a public 
address, recommended to the people to proceed no further in 
their design to separate from North-Carolina. He also 
wrote to Col. Kennedy, of Greene county, under date — 

2d January, 1785. 
Dkab Colonel : — ^T have just received certain information from Col. 
MarUn, that the first thing the Assenoibly of North-Carolina did was 
to repeal t!io Cession Bill, and to form this part of the country into a 
separate District, by name of Washington District, which I have the 
honour to command, as general. I conclude this step will satisfy the 
people with the old state, and wo shall pursue no further measures as 
to a new sUite. David Campbell, Esqr., is appoiutcd one of our judges. 
I wonld write to you officially, but my commission is not yet come to 


I am, dr. Colo., with esteem, yr. mt obdt. 

OoLo. Ebnnsdt. JOHN SEVIER. 

893 DSPUTiBS CHOBur TO A FBW ooNmrmv. 

Gen. Sevier also made a written commnnication addressed 
(to Gol. Kennedy and the citizens of Greene coanty; 

I informing them what had been done for their relief 
by the legislature, and, with the purpose of preventing con- 
fusion and controversies amongst the people of the western 
counties, he begged them to decline all further acticm in re- 
spect to a new government 

Notwithstanding this earnest advice of the president of 
the late convention, and the redress of the grievances of 
which they complained, and which had alienated the people 
from the mother state, they persisted in their determination ; 
the election was held, and five deputies from each county 
were elected. Those chosen for Washington county inrere 
John Sevier, William Cocke, John Tipton, Thomas Steward 
and Rev. Samuel Houston. For Sullivan county, David 
Looney, Richard Gammon, Moses Looney, William Cage* 
and John Long. For the county of Greene, James Reese, 
Daniel Kennedy, John Newman, James Roddye and Joseph 
Hardin. The number of deputies was fifteen, less than half 
of the convention previously elected. They were choeen, 
too, by the counties and not by captain*s campanies, and, 
representing larger bodies of their fellow citizens, were less 
trammeled by local prejudices and instructions. Their action 
was less restricted, and their deliberations freer and more 
enlightened. In this body, as now composed, was conside- 
rable ability and some experience. 

The convention subsequently assembled again at Jones- 
borough, and again appointed John Sevier president, and F. 
A. Ramsey, secretary. 

The convention being organized and ready for business, 
the Rev. Samuel Houston, one of the deputies from Wash- 
ington county, arose and addressed the convention on the 
importance of their meeting, showing that they were about 
to lay the foundation on which was to be placed, not only 
their own welfare and interest, but, perhaps, those of their 
posterity for ages to come ; and adding that, under such inte- 
resting and solemn circumstances, they should look to Hea* 
ven, and offer prayer for counsel and direction from Infinite 
Wisdom. The president immediately designated Mr. Hous- 


ton, and he offered up a solemn and appropriate prayer, in 
vrhich all seemed to unite. 

A form of a constitution under which the new government 
should be put in motion, was submitted and agreed to, sub- 
ject to the ratification, modification or rejection of a future 
convention directed to be chosen by the people, and to meet 
on the fourteenth of November, 1785, at Greenville. Ample 
time was thus given to examine the merits and defects of the 
new organization, and by discussing them in detail, to harmo- 
nize conflicting opinions, and to secure to it general public 
sentiment and popular favour. 

By an ordinance of the convention, however, it was provi- 
ded that the electors in the several counties should, in the 
meantime, proceed to elect members of the legislature for 
the new state, according to the laws of North-Carolina ; and 
that when thus chosen, the assembly should meet and put the 
new government into operation. 

The election was accordingly held, and members of the 
( legislature chosen for the State of Franklin. These 
( met at the appointed time in Jonesboro'. After the 
most diligent search, the writer has been unable to procure 
a list of the members of this first legislative assembly in what 
is now Tennessee. It was, probably, for the most part com- 
posed of the same members who had constituted the two 
conventions that preceded, and gave form and vitality to it. 
This much is known, that Landon Carter was speaker, and 
Thomas Talbot, clerk of the Senate; and William Cage, 
speaker, and Thomas Chapman, clerk, of the House of Com- 
mons. Thus organized, the assembly proceeded to the elec- 
tion of governor. To this office John Sevier was chosen. 
A judiciary system was established also at this first session. 
David Campbell was elected Judge of the Superior Court, 
and Joshua Gist and John Anderson Assistant Judges. 

The first session of the Legislature of Franklin, terminated 
on the thirty-first day of March, 1785, on which day the follow- 
ing acts were ratified, and signed by the speakers and coun- 
tersigned by the clerks of their respective bodies, viz : 

** An act to establish the legal claims of persons claiming 
.any property under the laws of North-Carolina, in the same 


manner as if the State of Franklin had never formed itself 
into a distinct and separate state." 

** An act to appoint commissioners, and to vest them vritb 
fhll powers to make deeds of conveyance to such persons as 
have purchased lots in the town of Jonesboro*.*^ 

^ An act forthe promotion of leamingin the county of Wash* 
1786 \ ^^^^^^'^ Under the provisions of this act, the foundaitioil 
( of Martin Academy was laid. It is believed that this 
is the earliest legislative action taken anywhere west of the 
Alleghanies, for the encouragement of learning. Rev. Sanft* 
nel Doak, who had been a member of the convention, and^ 
probably, of the Franklin assembly, and the apostle of reli* 
gion and learning in the West, was the founder and first pre» 
sident of Martin Academy. He was a graduate of Nas- 
sati Hall, in its palmiest days, under the presidency of Dr* 
Witherspoon. His school-house, a plain log bnilding erected 
on his own farm, stood a little west of the present site of 
what is now Washington College. For many years it viras 
the only, and for still more, the principal seat of classical 
education for the western country. 

** An act to establish a militia in this stat«.*' 

" An act for dividing Sullivan county and part of Greene^ 
into two distinct counties, and erecting a county by the 
name of Spencer." This new county covered the same 
territory now known as Hawkins county. 

" An act for procuring a great seal for this state." This 
act was probably n^ver carried into effect. More than two 
years afterwards commissions to the officers of Franklin 
were issued, having upon them a common wafer as the seal 
of the state. 

** An act directing the method of electing members of the 
General Assembly.** The first Monday of August, was the 
time fixed by law for the annual meeting of the legislature. 

** An act to divide Greene county into three separate and 
distinct counties, and to erect two new counties by the name 
of Caswell and Sevier.** The former occupied the section 
of country which is now JeflTerson, and extended probably 
further west There is reason to believe that Caswell 


county extended down the French Broad and Holston to their 
confluence, and perhaps further west. This much is cer- 
tain : that General White and others, known to be steadfast 
friends of the new state and officers under it, were at this 
time forming settlements in this part of the present Knox 
county. The other new county embraced what is still 
known as Sevier county, south of French Broad, and also 
that part of Blount east of the ridge dividing the waters of 
Little River from those of the Tennessee. The courts of 
Sevier county were held at Newell's Station, near the head 
of Boyd's Creek, This is one of the prettiest places in Ten- 
nessee; its ruins are still to be seen — about fifteen miles 
south-east from Knoxville— on the farm lately owned by 
Edward. Hodges, Esq. 

** An act to ascertain the value of gold and silver foreign 
coin, and the paper currency now in circulation in the state 
of North-Carolina, and to declare the same to be a lawful 
tender in this state." 

" An act for levying a tax for the support of the govern- 

** An act to ascertain the salaries allowed the Governor, 
Attorney-General, Judges of the Superior Courts, Assistant 
Judges, Secretary of State, Treasurer and members of Council 
of State.** 

*• An act for ascertaining what property in this state shall 
be deemed taxable, the method of assessing the same, and 
collecting public taxes." 

"An act to ascertain the powers and authorities of the 
Judges of the Superior Courts, the Assistant Judges and Jus- 
tices of the Peace, and of the County Courts of Pleas and 
Quarter Sessions, and directing the time and place of holding 
the same.** 

*• An act for erecting apart of Washington county and 
that part of Wilkes lying west of the extreme heights of the 
Apalachian or Alleghany Mountains, into a separate and 
distinct county by the name of Wayne." This new county 
covered the same territory now embraced in the limits of 
Carter and Johnson counties. 

The provisions of some of these acts were nearly the 

286 orricuts of the stats or rftAHKLiVi 

same as those adopted by North-Carolina at the commence 
ment of her state government. The style of the enactments 
was this : *' Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the 
State of Franklin.** 

The Governor^ the Judge of the Superior Court, and the 
Assistant Judges, were elected, as has been already men- 
tioned, by the legislature at its first session. The other 
state ofiicers were Landon Carter, Secretary of State ; Wil- 
liam Cage, Treasurer ; Stockley Donaldson, Surveyor-Gene- 
ral ; Daniel Kennedy and William Cocke, Brigadier^Grene- 
rals of the Franklin militia. General Cocke was also dele* 
gated to represent the condition of the new government in 
the Congress of the United States. Members of the Counoil 
of State were — General William Cocke, Colonel Landon 
Carter, Colonel Francis A. Ramsey, Judge Campbell, Gene- 
ral Kennedy, Colonel Taylor. Until the new constitution 
should be adopted by the people, the temporary form of gor- 
emment was that of North-Carolina. 

County courts were, at the same session, established, and 
justices of the peace appointed. The civil and military 
officers for each county, as far as can now be ascertained, 
were — James Sevier, Clerk of Washington County Court ; 
John Rhea, of Sullivan ; Daniel Kennedy, of Greene ; Tho- 
mas Henderson, of Spencer; Joseph Hamilton, of Caswell ; 
and Samuel Weir, of Sevier. On the 10th of June, 1785, 
Governor Sevier, by proclamation, announced the appoint- 
ment of F. A. Ramsey, Esq., as Clerk of the Superior Court 
of Washington District.* 

The salaries of the officers of state were — of the Governor, 
two hundred pounds annually; Attorney-General, twenty- 
five pounds for each court he attended ; Secretary of State 
twenty-five pounds annually, and his fees of office ; Judge 
of Superior Court, one hundred and fifty pounds per annum ; 
Assistant Judges, twenty-five pounds for each court ; Trea- 
surer, forty pounds annually ; each member of Council of 
State, six shillings per day, when in actual service. 

'^ In the law, levying a tax for ihe sujiport of government, was the 
daase following : 



" ' Be it €itacted^ That it shall and may be lawful for the aforesaid 
land tax, and all free polls, to be paid in the following manner : Good 
flax linen, ten hundred, at three Rhillings and six pence per yard ; nine 
hundred, at three shillings; eight hundred, two shillings nnd nine 
pence; seven hundred, two shillings and six pence; six hundred, two 
shillings ; tow linen, one shilling and nine pence ; linsey, three shillings^ 
and woollen and cotton linsey, three shillings and six pence per yard ; 
^ood, clean beaver skin, six shillings; cased otter skins, six shillings; 
uncased ditto, five shillings ; rackoon and fox skins, one shilling and 
three pence; woollen cloth, at ten shillings per yard; bacon, well 
cured, six pence per pound ; good, clean tallow, six pence per- pound ; 
^ood, clean beeswax, one shilling per pound ; good distilled rye whiskey, 
at two shillings and six pence per gallon ; good peach or apple brandy, 
at three shillings per gallon ; good country made sugar, at one shilling 
per pound : deer skins, the pattern, six shillings ; good, neat and weU 
managed tobacco, fit to bo prized, that may pass inspection, the hun- 
dred, fifteen shillings, and so on in proportion for a greater or less quan- 
tity.' »• 

^ ' And all the salaries and allowances hereby made, shall be paid by 
any treasurer, sheriflf, or collector of public taxes, to any person entitled 
to the same, to be paid in specific articles as collected, and at the rates 
allowed by the state for the same ; or in current money of the State of 
Franklin.' In specifying the skins, which might be received as a com- 
mutation for money, the risibility of the unthinking was sometimes 
excited at the enumeration. The rapidity of wit, which never stops to 
be informed, and which delights by its oddities, established it as an 
axiom, that the salaries of the governor, judges, and other officers, were 
to be paid in skins absolutely ; and to add to their merriment, had them 
payable in mink skins."* 

The provisions of the Franklin Legislature concerning its 
currency, have been the source of much merriment and 
pleasantry, at the expense of the Franks. It should be re- 
coUectecl that many of the articles, which were thus de- 
clared to be a lawful tender in payment of debts, were, at 
that moment, convertible into specie, at the prices designated 
by the law ; and all of them, certainly, at a lower scale of 
depreciation than the issues of many banks, considered since 
that time as a legal currency. Besides, in the forming pe- 
riod of society, when the pastoral and agricultural have not yet 
been merged into the commercial and manufacturing stagest 
where the simple wants of a new community confine its 
exchanges to the bartering of one commodity or product for 
another, -there can be but little use for mon'*y. There it 
does not constitate wealth, and is scarcely the representa- 
tive of it. On the frontier, he is the wealthiest man, not 


SM cuRRBHcnr op tbb coLomin. 

who owns the largest amonnt of wild lands, while 
of acres around bim are vacant and nnappropriatec] ; or who 
has money to lend, which no one near him wishes or needa to 
borrow ; but he whose guns and traps furnish the most peltries^ 
who owns the largest flocks and herds, and whose cribs and 
barns are the fullest, and whose household fabrics are the most 
abundant. In a now settlement, these are wealth, and con^ 
stitute its standard. 

In the earlier periods of all the American colonies, a like 
condition of things existed, as did now in Franklin. Money 
appears to have been very scarce, and in their domestic 
transactions, quite unknown. In Virginia, two centuries ago, 
the price of a wife was estimated at one hundred and fifty 
pounds of tobacco ; and the subject of the transaction was 
held to impart its own dignity to the df bt, which accordingly 
was allowed to take precedence of all other engagemenHL 
In 1088, a stipend^of sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco was 
given by law to each clergymen. In Maryland, tobacco, and 
not money, was made the measure of value, in all the tawS 
where prices were stated or payments prescribed.* In North- 
Carolina, as late as 1722, debts and rents were generally 
made payable in hides, tallow, furs, or other productions of 
the country. And still later, in 1738, when money was 
scarce in that colony, it became necessary to receive pay- 
ment of quit- rents and other debts, in such articles of country 
produce as were marketable and easily transported. The 
price of these several articles was fixed by acts of As- 
sembly, at which they were a legal tender. When judgment 
was obtained in a court for damages to a certain amount, 
the entry was usually made in the docket with the follow- 
ing addition : *' payable in deer skins, hides, tallow or small 
furs, at country price."t A specific tax of one bushel of In- 
dian corn, upon every tithable inhabitant, was laid in 1715, for 
the support of some forces upon the frontier, and to discharge 
a debt due to South-Carolina. 

At an early day in Virginia, tobacco became the standard 
of value, and supplied in part the place of a circulating me'^ 
dium. By pi act of 1G32, " the secretary's fees shall be as 

* Graluune. f WiUlamtoD. 


followetb :. ffor a warrant, 05 lbs. of tobacco ; flbr a passe 
lo lbs. ; ffor a freedom 80, etc. The marshal I's fees ffor an 
arrest, 10 lbs,; ffor warning the cort, 02, imprisonment 
coming in 10, going out 10, laying by the heels 5, whipping 
10, pillory 10, duckinge 10, ffor every 5 lbs. of tobacco the 
niarshall may require one bushel of corne, etc. etc."* 

The court of assistants, of Massachusetts, ordered that 
( corn should pass for payment of all debts at the usual 
( rate for which it was sold. 

Hard Currency. — *'M usket balls, full bore, were a legal 
tender in Massachusetts, in 1650, current for a farthing a 
piece, provided that no man be compelled to take above 
twelve at a time of them." * : \ 

**In 1680, the town of Hilham paid its taxes in mfflclpaiib,** 

Having appointed the officers of state, and provi(fed fop 
the support of the government of Franklin, the Assembly 
anthorized a treaty to be held with the Cherokee Indians. 
Governor Sevier, Alexander Outlaw and Daniel Kennedy, 
"were appointed commissioners. The treaty was held at the 
honse of Major Henry, near the mouth of Dumplin Creek, 
on the north bank of French Broad River. The king of the 
Cherokees, with a great number of their chiefs, met the 
Franklin commissioners at this place, on the 31st of May, 
17d5. The conference wa3 continued three days, and re- 
salted in the establishment of the ridge dividing the waters 
of Little River and the Tennessee, as the boundary between 
the whites and Indians, and the cession of all the lands south 
of French Broad and Holston, east of that ridge. For these 
lands the Indians were promised compensation in general 
terms. ^*Both parties professed a sincere desire for the bles- 
sings of peace, and an ardent wish that it might be of long 
continuance. The governor, in a speech well calculated to 
produce the end he had in view, deplored the sufferings of 
the white f>eople ; the blood which the Indians spilt on the 
road leading to Kentucky ; lamented the uncivilized state of 
the Indians, and to prevent all future animosities, he sug* 
geHted the propriety of fixing the bounds, beyond which 
those settlements sliould not be extended, which had been 



too ooinnnoir of thb vbit vtatb. 

impradently made on the south side of Freneh Broad and 
Holston, under the oonnivance of North-Carolina, and coald 
not now be broken up ; and he pledged the faith of the State 
of Franklin, if these bounds should be agreed upon and made 
known, that the citizens of his state should be effectoally 
restrained from all encroachments beyond it."^ 

Under the government of Franklin, the county offices 
were generally conferred upon those who already held com* 
missions under the State of North-Carolina for the same 
places. This arrangement gave general satisfaction. The 
metamorphosis from the old to the new order of things wa0 
so noiseless, gradual and imperceptible, it did violence to no 
. one, produ'eed no convulsion, and for the time being recon- 
ciled all parties west of the mountains to the new govern- 
ment, which was now in the, full tide of successful experi- 

East of the Alleghanies, however, this sudden dismember^ 
ment of the territory of North-Carolina produced surprised 
censure and condemnation. A rumour of the insurrectionaiy 
tendency across the mountain, had reached Newbern during 
the session of the legislature, and had, doubtless, much infla* 
ence in hastening the measures adopted for the conciliation 
and relief of the western people. Complaints were soon 
after made to Alexander Martin, then governor of the state» 
by the chiefs'of the Cherokee nation, of the frequent viola- 
tion of treaty stipulations, and especially of the murder of 
one of their head men, Butler, by Major Hubbard, one of the 
. Franklin officers, in time of peace. 

Governor Martin, under date Danbury, Dec. 18, 1784, had 
written to Col. John Gist, authorizing him to convene the 
witnesses before him, and if they prove the killing, **you 
will issue your warrant to apprehend the said Hubbard, di- 
rected to the sheriff or such other officers as you judge 
proper, to be brought before you, and if he cannot shew any 
exculpatory reason for this act, you will commit him under a 
strong guard to Burke county jail, and to be under the care of 
General McDowell, there to remain until Washington Supe- 
rior Court.** 

The circumstances of the death of Butler, as furnished by 

* Haywood. 



a surviving kinsman, as he received them from Hubbard 
himself, are these : 

The Death of Untoola or Gun Rod of Citioq — ob, as known 


Daring an armistice that had taken place between the 
Upper towns of the Cherokees and the infant settlements 
upon the French Broad, an attempt was made to revive the 
peaceful relations which, at happy intervals, had existed be- 
tween the white and Indian population. The counsels of 
the elder chiefs had at length prevailed over the rash and in- 
considerate decisions of the young men and warriors, and had 
curbed, if not eradicated, the restless spirit of cruelty and ag- 
g^ression which had so often involved the frontier in war. 
The whites too, were at this moment not indisposed to a 
state of peace. The emigration from abroad had been so 
great as to render the amount of the last year's crop inade- 
quate for the present wants and support of the country. A 
pacific policy was necessary to a renewal of that system of 
barter which, in times of previous scarcity, had been so bene- 
ficial to all. Impelled by necessity, several small parties 
ventured into the Indian country to procure corn. Amongst 
these was one consisting of only two men. Col. James Hub* 
bardt and a fellow-soldier. Hubbardt's parents and their 
whole family, had been cruelly butchered in Virginia by the 
Shawnees, and he had hence become the avowed enemy of the 
Indian race ; and it may not be saying too much to add, that 
he had killed more Cherokees than any other one man. In 
. every battle with them, he sought the place of danger. Coura* 
geous in action, ardent in pursuit, artful in stratagie and 
desperate in his revenges, he had incurred the implacable 
resentment of the Indians. This feeling had been exaspe- 
rated by th^ mortifying result of many a hardly contested 
rencounter with them.. In one of these it was his good for- 
tune to meet and unhorse Butler, a distinguished warrior and 
the chieftain of Citico. To lose his horse, his tomahawk or his 
rifiet is equivalent, in the Cherokee warrior's code, to the loss 
of consequence and of honour. Butler apprehended this effect 
from his late inglorious retreat from his antagonist. This staia 



Upon his oharaoter ulcerated his prond and ambitions spirit^ 
and impatient under itscorrodings, and panting for an oppor- 
tunity to retrieve his loss, he had dissented from the peace- 
talks which were gradually preparing hts followers for a 
general pacification — an event which Butler was well awaroi 
under his peculiar situation, would consign him to temporary 
obscurity, or perhaps sink him to lasting infamy. His wounded 
pride could not brook this tormenting apprehension, and fae 
disdained to accept the overture of peace, which he too well 
knew bad not been extorted by his valour. Hearing of the 
approach of Hubbardt and of his companion to his town^ he 
invited a warrior, who still adhered to his fortunes,' to accoOir 
pany him. Well armed and well mounted^ they hasteDed 
from Citico and soon met the object of their search. Hub- 
bardt and his companion were encumbered with packages^ 
different kinds, which had been laid upon their horses to be 
exchanged for com. At the time of Butler's approach, tb^ 
were on foot, leading the horses leisurely along the Indite 
path. Butler rode directly up, and with an air of insulted 
dignity demanded, in English, the object of tbeir intrnsrre 
visit. Hubbardt, looking at him sternly, replied, with great 
self possession, As the war is over, we have brought some 
clothing which we desire to barter for corn ; and as an evi- 
dence of the conciliatory and peaceable purpose of his visits 
he exhibited the contents of a sack taken from his horse. He 
also drew forth a bottle of whiskey and invited the Indians to 
drink. To inspire Butler with greater coufidencQ, he leaned 
his rifle against a tree, vainly hoping, by this demeanour, to 
appease the resentment which but too plainly burned in the 
bosom and flashed from the eyes of his antagonist. To the 
enquiry about a supply of corn, no answer was made by But- 
ler, who manifested a stubborn indiflerence to the negotia* 
tion. He continued mounted and rode partly around the 
white men, with the supposed intention of either separating 
Hubbardt from his gun, by running his horse in between him 
and the tree, or of getting them both in the range of his dou^ 
ble-barrelled rifle, and of killing the principal and his second 
at one shot. Hubbardt, however, was not less eagle-eyed 
than he was brave, and taking his position near his gun, de« 


termined, that while he made no aggression upon others, be 
would not allow himself to be deprived of the means of de- 
fence. The negotiation was now ended — not another word 
was uttered. Though all verbal communication was sus- 
pended, it was not difficult to read in their expressive coun- 
tenances, the reckless determination of the two principals. 
Their companions remained spectators of the conduct of their 
chiefs — each of them aware that the fate of his friend might 
be decisive of his own. 

Hubbardt knew that to resume his rifle, in the present 
posture of things, would be construed as a breach of the 
existing armistice or a renewal of the war, and would 
expose a starving frontier to famine and to the merciless 
incursions of their savage neighbours. To remain unarmed 
wras to. invite an attack from his adversary. He avoided 
either. He reached his hand to the muzzle of his gun and 
allowed the breach to remain upon the ground ; then assu*> 
ming a look of stern defiance, he waited, in silence, for the 
attack. Butler changed the position of his horse and aimed 
a blow at Hubbardt, but was unable, by this manccuvre, to 
gain any advantage over his wary antagonist. Baffled in 
this expectation, he coolly surveyed him, and, quick as light- 
ning, levelled his gun and fired. The ball passed between 
the ear and head of Hubbardt, and cut the hair from his 
temple and doing little injury to the skin, slightly stunned 
him. The two Indians immediately retreated. Their flight 
was so instantaneous and rapid that they had reached the 
distance of eighty yards when a ball from Hubbardt^s gun 
stmck Butler in the back and brought him to the ground. 
He begged Hubbardt, who was now approaching him, to let 
him alone — he was a dead man. At his own request, he 
uvras lifted up and placed against a tree, when ho breathed 
easier. To the request that he should tell them, before he 
died, whether his nation was for peace, he replied angril}', 
No. They are for war, and if you go any further thoy will 
take your hair. To the remark that they had belter not 
again go to war, for the white people would whip them, he 
he replied : It is a lie, it is a lie ; and making the declaration 
more emphatic by the addition of other ofiensive and insult- 

S04 oovEBNOR M Ammr smiM (xmlohkl narDBUKur, 

ing expletives, continned to provoke Habbardt till» in a 
paroxysm of ill-timed rage, by a blow from his heavy gon, 
he dispatched him. 

The companion of Habbardt had his attention so wholly 
absorbed by the principal combatantSi thai he allowed the 
other Indian to escape without firing at hint. Habbardt 
reproached him bitterly for this neglect, and said that, if 
he had killed the other, intelligence of Butler's death would 
not have exposed the whites to immediate retaliation ; as it 
is» said he, the Indians will invade the settlements before 
they can be prepared for them. 

It will be seen, hereafter, how severely the frontier snllbrod 
from the revenge, cruelty and retaliation of Bntlier^B 

Rumour had ascribed the disturbances on the frontier to the 
officers of the new government, and Governor Martin sent 
Samuel Henderson to the West, with instructions and foil 
power to examine into and ascertain the extent of the ilqfii^ 
ries inflicted upon the Indians, and the disaffeeUon of the 
western people. The governor alKo forwarded, by-MeJor 
Henderson, a talk from himself to the Cherokees, and a letter 
to General Sevier. As containing a history of the times at 
which they bear date, each of these papers is given at 

To THE Old Tassel and other Warriors of the Cheaokeb KAnoH ; 

Brothers : — ^I have received your talk by Colonel Martin, in behalf of 
yourself and all the Cherokee nation. I am sorry that you have been 
nneasy, and that I could not see you this last spring, as I promised 
you, as our beloved men met at Hillsborough had prevented me^ by 
agreeing and concluding among themselves, that the Great Council of 
the thirteen American States, at Philadelphia, should transact all affiun 
belonging to the Red People. . . . . • 

Broilur : — It gives me great uneasiness that our people trespass on 
your lands, and that your young men are afraid to go a-hunting on ac- 
count of our people ranging the woods and marking the trees. These 
things, I can assure you, are against the orders of your elder brother, and 
are not approved of by me and the good men of North -Carolina ; but 
VfhWe we were consulting our council of Philadelphia, our bad men 
living near your lands thought we had laid aside all government over 
them, and that'they had a right to do as they pleased ; and not willing 
to obey any law for the sake of ill gain and profit, care not what mis- 
chief they do between the red and white people, if they can enrich them- 


selves. Bat» brother, I know your complaints, and will endeavour to 
set vour minds at ease, by again ordering off all these persons from your 
lands, who have settled on them w^ithout your consent. Your fnend, 
Gen. Sevier, is made our First Warrior for the western country, to whom 
Cobnel Miuiinr. carries my particular directions to have these intruders 
moved off About the 25th of April, I propose to meet you, and such 
of your beloved men as will be pleased to attend, at the Great Island 
in Holston, or other place most agreeable to you on Broad or that 
river. I shall bring with me some of our first men, who will assist in 
the Talks, in whom, as well as myself, you can place your confidence and 
trust I propose to bring with me the goods, which, in my last Talk, 
I informed you, were intended to purchase your right and claim to some 
ot the lands near you, that a line be drawn and marked between yonr 
people and ours, which shall be the bounds in future, and over whioh 
cor people shall not go and settle upon, without being highly punished. 

jSrotker: — In the meanwhile, 1 beg you not to listen to any bad 
TaBcB, which may be made by either white or red people, which may 
disturb onr peace and good will to each other ; and should mischief be 
done by any of our bad people, be patient until you hear from me, and may 
be certain your elder brother of North-Carolina will do every thing in his 
power, to give your minds satisfaction. I am told the northern Indians hare 
sent you some bad Talks, but do not hear them, as they wish to make vari- 
ance between all the red and American people without any provocation. 

Brother : — Colonel Martin, your friend, has told me your grievances. 
I vrish to redress them as soon as possible. I cannot come to you sooner 
tban I have proposed. Bad men may make you uneasy, but your elder 
bzotlier of North-Carolina has you greatly in his heart, and wishes to 
make you sensible of it 

OovBuroB Martin to General Sevier : 

D ANBURY, December, lY84. 

Sir ; — By Major Outlaw, I sent your brigadier's commission, which I 
expect you have received, and which I hope will bo acceptable to you, 
as also some proclamations agreeably to a request of the Legislature, 
to have all intruders removed off the Indian lands. I request your atten- 
tion to this business, as I have received a Talk from the Cherokee nation, 
matly complaining of trespasses daily committing against them ; and 
that tneir young men are afraid to hunt, as our people are continually 
ranging their woods and marking their trees. The importance of keep- 
ing peace with the Indians you are sufficiently impressed with, and the 
povers with which you are armed, are sufiicient to check the licentious 
and disobedient, and remove every impediment out of the way, which 
may give the Indians uneasiness. 

I am informed a daring murder has been committed, on one Butler, 
a Cherokee Indian, by Major Hubbard, of Greene county, without any 
provocation. I have given directions for his being apprehended and 
oonveyed to Burke Gaol for security, until the setting of Washington 
Superior Court, when he will be remanded back. Col. Gist, of Greene 
county, is entrusted with this service. I have directed him to call on 
yon for guards if the same be necessary. 



You will please to write to me the first opportunity on this subject* 
I propose to hold a treaty with the Indians about the 25tli of Aprils at 
the Great Island. 

Governor CasweU and Colonel Blount will be commissioners to assist 
at the treaty, where I shall e^cpect you to attend with such guard as 
will be thought necessary, and of which you will hereafter have adyioe. 

Hearing of the continued revolt in the West, Governor 
Martin again addressed Governor Sevier : 

jS'tr ; — With some concern, I have heard that the counties of Wash- 
ington, Sullivan and Greene, have lately declared themselves inde- 
pendent of the State of North-Carolina, and hare chosen you gDvemor — 
that you have accepted the same, and are now acting with a number of 
officers under the authority of a now government 

As I wish to have full and proper mformation on this subject^ Mqor 
Samuel Henderson waits upon you with this, by whom you will please 
to transmit me an account of the late proceedings of the people in Iha 
western country, that I may have it in my power to couununicate the 
same to the General Assembly. 

The general discontent that prevailed through the state at the late 
Cession act, and the situation of our public accounts not being as tm- 
vourable as they were taught to believe, caused the Assembly to repeal 
that act by a large majority, and to convince the people of the western 
country, that the state still retained her affection for, and was not desi- 
rous to part with, such a respectable body of citisens, in the present 
situation of affiiirs, attempted to make goveniment as easy as possible 
to them by erecting a new Superior Court District, creating a Brigadier- 
General of the Militia, and an Assistant Judge of the said Superior 
Court, which was, in short, redressing every grievance, and removing 
every obstacle out of the way that ^Icd for a separation, and which 
the Legislature were induced to expect from one of the members of that 
district, would give full satisfaction. 

It has also been suggested that the Indiaii goods are to be seized, 
and the Commissioners arrested, when they arrive, on the business of 
the Treaty, as infringing on the powers of your new government ; for 
which reason they are stopped, and I shall not proceed with the Com- 
missioners until we are assured how far the militia of Washington Dis- 
trict may be relied on for guards in conducting the Treaty, whom alone 
I intend to call upon to attend to this business. 

You will also please to inform me respecting the late Proclamations 
to remove off all intruders on the Indian lands, and what is done in 
Hubbard's case, of which I wrote you by Colonel Mardn. 

Gov. Martin also sent another Talk : 

To THE Old Tasskl of Chota, and all the warriors of the Friendly 

Towns of the Cherokee nation : 

Brothers : — The time is about arriving when I expected to have held 
a great Talk with you, as I promised by Col. Martin, and hope you will 
not charge me with being mlse and faithless to my promise, when I ex- 

GOV. M AHTIN's instructions to MAJOB HeNDBRSON. 307 

plain to you the reason why this business is obliged to be put off to 
some longer time. I am sorry to give you this information, as the &ult 
18 not youiB or mine ; but, from a circumstance I could not have foreseen, 
would have happened, while we were preparing to see each other to ex- 
change mutual pledges of lasting friendship. A String. 

Our brothers, the white people between the mountains and you, wish 
to have a council of beloved men and government separate irom your 
elder brothers of North-Carolina, with whom they heretofore sat and 
held all their councils in common. 

Your elder brothers are not yet agreed to their separation from themi 
till they are a more numerous and stronger people, till we have held 
Talks together on the terms of the separation, and till the great (}ouncil 
at New- York' are agreed ; while these things are settling among ourselveSi 
the talkinff with you must be delayed^ as the meeting must be on the 
ground where they live, and from whom we must procure things ne- 
eeaaary for the support of you and us ; and by this Talk we intend to 
make a chairs of friendship strong and bright, that will last forever be- 
tween you and all your elder brothers, more especially those who live 
near von. We wish to have their full consent and hearty assistance as one 
people in this business. A String. 


Brothtrn : — Be'not discouraged at this delay. Whatever disputes may 
be between your elder brothers, I trust it will not concern you, more 
tban yon may think the time long we may take up in understanding 
ooieelves. Li the meantime, I, as your elder brother, request you to be 
peaeeably disposed to all the white people who are our brothers, and 
not iuftr any misdiief to be done to them, either to their persons or pro- 
perty, nor listen to any ill Talks which may be offered you, either from 
the red or white bad people ; but should any injury be done you by the 
white people near you, complain to their head and beloved men, who I 
hope will give you redress, till the way is clear for you and us of North- 
Carolina to see each other. A String. 

Brothtn: — ^The time is shortly to be, by the nature of our govern- 
ment, when I am to become as a private brother, but the eood Talks that 
have passed between us will not be forgotten. I will deliver them care- 
fully to my successor. Governor Caswell, who loves you, and wishes to 
Tau with you in the same manner I have. He will have the conducting 
<rf the future Talks with you, which I hope will always be to our mu- 
tual satisfaction. 


Sir : — ^Tou will please to repair with despatch to Gleneral Sevier, 
and deliver him the letters herewith handed you, and request his an- 
swer. You will make yourself acquainted with the transactions of 
the people in the western country, such as their holdiDg a Convention, 
and learn whether tlfe same be temporary, to be exercised only during 
the time of the late Cession act ; ana that since the repeal thereof, they 
mean still to consider themselves citizens of North-Carolina, or whether 
they intend the same to be perpetual, and what measures they have 


taken to support such government. That you procure a copy of the 
constitution, and the names of such officers at present exercising the 
powers of the new government That you be informed whether a &o- 
tion of a few leading men be at the head of this business, or whether it 
be the sense of a large majority of the people that the state be dii- 
mcnibered at this crisis of afihirs, and what laws and resolutions are 
formed for their future government ; also, where the bounds of thdr 
new state are to extend, and whether Cumberland or Kehtuckv, or both, 
are to be included therein, and whether the people of those places have 
also taken part in the above transactions. You will learn the temper 
and disposition of the Indians, and what is done in Hubbard^a case, 
and how his conduct is approved or disapproved in general. Lastly, every 
other information you think necessary to procure, you will conununicate 
to me as soon as possible ; at the same time you will conduct yotinelf 
with that prudence you are master of, in not throwing out menaces, or 
making use of any language that may serve to irritate persons oon- 
cemed in the above measures. 

The authorities of North-Carolina were not long allowed 
to remain in doabt upon the subject of the defection of the 
western counties. Soon after the organization of the Le^s- 
lature of the State of Franklin, and the appointment of its 
principal oflieers, a communication was addressed to Alex- 
ander Martin, Esq., Grovernor of North-Carolina, signed by 
John Sevier, Governor, and Landon Carter and William Gage, 
as Speakers of the Senate and House of Commons of the 
State of Franklin, announcing that they and part of the 
inhabitants of the territory lately ceded to Congress, had 
declared themselves independent of the State of North-Caro- 
lina, and no longer considered themselves under the sove- 
reignty and jurisdiction of the same, and assigning the rea- 
sons for their separation. This formal Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, officially communicated by the functionaries of 
Franklin, and transmitted to the Executive of North-Caro 
lina, induced Governor Martin to issue his circular under 
date, Danbury, April 7th, 1785, to the members of Council, 
requiring them to meet him at Hillsborough on the 22d inst. 
In his circular, lie goes on to say that the inhabitants of the 
western counties **had declared themselves independent of 
the State of North-Carolina, and have refused, and do refuse, 
to pay obedience to the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the 
same ;" and he convenes them at Hillsborough, ''then and 
there in your wisdom to deliberate and advise the measures 
necessary to be taken on this occasion." 


Three days after the meeting of his Council, Governor 
Martin issued a Proclamation as follows : — '^Whereas, I have 
received undoubted information of the revolt of the inhabi- 
tants of Washington, Greene and Sullivan counties, who have 
declared themselves independent of the State of North-Caro- 
lina, under the name of the State of Frankliriy^ and then 
convenes the Legislature at Newbern, on the 1st of June. 

Upon the same day he issued also the following spirited 
and elaborate Manifesto : 

State of North-Carolina : 

By ffia Excellency Alkxander Martin, Esqniro, Governor, Captain- 

Ckneral and Commander-in-Chief of the State aforesaid — 
To the Inhabitants of the Counties of Washington^ Sullivan and Greene: 


Whereas, I have received letters from Brigadior-Grencral Sevior, under 
the style and character of Governor, and from Messrs. Landon Carter and 
William Cage, as Speakers of the Senate and House of Commons of the 
State of Franklin, informing me that they, with you, the inhabitants of 
part of the territory lately ceded to Congress, had declared themselves in- 
dependent of the State of North-Carolina, and no longer consider them- 
selves under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the same, stating their 
reason for their separation and revolt — among which it is alledged, that 
the western country was ceded to Congress without their consent, by an 
act of the legislature, and the same was rei)ealod in the like manner. 

It is evident, from the journals of that Assembly, how far that asscr^ 
tion is supported, which held up to public view the names of those who 
voted on the different sides of that important question, where is found a 
considerable number, if not a majority, of the member — some of whom 
ItfB leaders in the present revolt — then representing the above counties, 
in Bupport of that act they now deem iini)olitic and pretend to reprobate — 
which, in all probability, would not have passed but through tneir influ- 
ence and assiduity — whose passage at length was eflectcd but by a small 
majority, and by which a cession of the vacant territory was only made 
and obtained with a power to the delegates to complete the same by 
grants, but that government should still be supported, and that anarchy 
prevented — which is now suggested — the western people were ready to 
nil into. The sovereignty and jurisdiction of the state were, by another 
act passed by the same assembly, reserved and asserted over the ceded 
territory, with all the powers and authorities as full and ample as before, 
until Congress should accept the same. 

The last Assembly having learned what uneasiness and discontent the 
OessioQ act had occasioned throughout the state, whose inhabitants had 
not been pre\iously consulted on that measure, in whom, by the consti- 
tation, the soil and territorial rights of the state are particularly vested, 
judging the said act imjx^litic at this time, more especially as it would, 
fixr a small consideration, dismember the state of one half of her territo- 



rj, and in the end tear from her a respectable body of her dtiiens, when 
no one state in the Union had parted with any of their citizens, or given 
anything like an equivalent to Congress but vacant lands of an equivo- 
cal and disputed title and distant situation ; and also conudering that 
the said act, by its tenor and purport, was revocable at any time before 
the cession should have been comi>leted by the delegates, who repealed it 
by a great majority ; at the same time, the Assembly, to convince the 
people of the western country of their affection and attention to thor 
mterest, attempted to render government as easy as possible to them, 
by removing the only general inconvenience and grievance they might 
labour under, for the want of a regular adminiRtration of criminal ju»- 
tice, and a proper and immediate command of the militia ; a new district 
was erected, an assistant judge and a brigadier-general were appcHDted. 

Another reason for the revolt is assigned, that the Assembly on the 
Cession act stopped a quantity of goods intended for the Cherokee In* 
dians, as a compensation for their claim to tlie western lands ; and that 
the Indians had committed hostilities, in consequence thereof. Tlie 
journals of the Assembly evince the contrary ; that the said goods were 
still to be given to the Indians, but under the regulations of Congress, 
should the cession take place ; which occasioned the delay of not irnme* 
diately sending them forward ; of which the Indians were immediately 
notified, and I am well informed that no hostilities or mischiefs have 
been committed on this account ; but, on the other hand, that provo- 
cations have been, and are daily given, their lands trespassed upon, and 
even one of their chiefs has been lately murdered, with impunity. 

On the repeal of the Cession act, a treaty was ordered to be held with 
the Indians, and the goods distributed as soon as the season would 
permit; which, before Ibis, would have been carried into effect, had not 
the face of affairs been changed. 

Under what character, but truly disgraceful, could the State of North- 
Carolina suffer treaties to be held with the Indiaa*^, and other business 
transacted in a country, where her authority and government were re- 
jected and set at naught, her officers liable to insult, void of assistance 
or protection. 

The particulv attention the legislature have paid to the interest of 
the western citizens, though calculated to conciliate their affection and 
esteem, has not been satisfactory, it seems : but the same has been at- 
tributed to interest and lucrative designs. Whatever designs the legis- 
lature entertained in the repeal of the said act, they have made it ap- 
pear that their wisdom considered that the situation of our public ac- 
counts was somewhat changed since that Assembly, and that the interest 
of the state should immediately bo consulted and attended to, that 
every citizen should reap the advantage of the vacant territory, that the 
same should be reserved for the jiayment of the public debts of the 
state, under such regulations hereafter to be adopted ; judging it ill- 
timed generosity at this crisis, to be too lil^eral of the means that would 
so greatly contribute to her honesty and justice. 

But designs of a more dangerous nature and deeper die seem to 
glaie in the western revolt. The power usurped over the vacant terri- 
tory, the Union deriving no emolument from the same, not even the 


proportional part intended the old states by the cession being reserved, 
ner jurisdiction and sovereignty over that country (which, by the con- 
sent of its representatives, ^vere still to remain and be eicercised) rejected 
and deposed ;> her public revenue in that part of her government seized 
by the new authority, and not suffered to bo paid to the lawful Trcn- 
snrer, but appropriated to different purposes, as intended by the Legis- 
lature, — are all facts, evincing that a restless ambition and a lawless 
thirst of power, have inspired this enterprise, by which the persons con- 
cerned thenan, may be precipitated into measures that may, at last, 
bring down ruin, not only on themselves, but our country at large. 

In order, therefore, to reclaim such citizens, who, by specious pretences 
and the acts of designing men, have been seduced from their allegiance, 
to restrain others from following their example who are wavering, and 
to confirm the attachment and affection of those who adhere to the old 
government, and whose fidelity hath not yet been shaken, 1 havjd 
thought proper to issue this Manifesto, hereby warning all persons coti- 
oemed in the said revolt, that they return to their duty and allenriance, 
and forbear paying any obedience to any self-created power and authority 
unknown to the constitution of the state, and not sanctified by the 
Legislature. That they and you consider the consequences that may 
attend such a dangerous and unwarrantable procedure; that far less 
causes have deluged states and kingdoms with blood, which, at length, 
have terminated their existence, either by subjecting them a prey to 
foreign con<iuerors, or erecting in their room a despotism that has bid- 
den defiance to time to shake off; — the lowest state of misery, human 
nature, under such a government, can be reduced to. That they reflect 
there is a national pndc in all kingdoms and states, that inspires every 
snbject and citizen with a degree of importance — the grand cement and 
BQpport of every government — which must not be insulted. That the 
honour of this State has been particularly wounded, by seizing that 
by violence which, in time, no doubt, would have been obtained by 
consent, when the terms of separation would have been explained and 
stipulated, to the mutual satisfaction of the mother and new state. 
That Congress, by the confederation, cannot countenance such a separa- 
tion, wherein the State of North-Carolina hath not given her full con- 
sent; and if an implied or conditional one hath been given, the same 
hath be^n rescinded by a full Legislature. Of her reasons for so doing 
they consider themselves the only competent judges. 

That by such rash and irregular conduct a precedent is formed for 
every district, and even every county of the state, to claim the right 
of separation and indoj)endency for any supposed grievance of the 
inhabitants, as caprice, pride and ambition shall dictate, at pleasure, 
thereby exhibiting to the world a melancholy instance of a feeble or 
pusillanimous government, that is either unable or dares not restrain the 
lawless designs of its citizens, which will give ample cause of exultation 
to our late enemies, and raise their hopes that they may hereafter gain, 
bj the division among ourselves, that dominion their tyranny and arms 
have lost, and could not maintain. 

That you tarnish not the laurels you have so gloriously won at King's 
Mountain and elsewhere, in supporting the freedom and independence 


of tlio United States, and this state in particular, to be whoae citueitt 
were thi*n yonr boast, in l>eing concerned in a black and traitorous revolt 
from that government in whose defence you liave so copiously bled, and 
which, by solemn oath, you arc still bound to support .Let not Ver- 
mont be held u]) ns an (.'xample on this occasion. Vermont, we are 
informed, had her chiiuis for a separate government at the first existr 
ence of the American war, and, as such, with the other states, although 
not in the Univ/n, hatli exerted her ^xjwers against the late common 

That you hi} not insulted or led away witli the pageantry of a modi 
government without the essentials — the shadow without the subatanoe — 
which always dazzles weak minds, and which will, in its present form 
and manner of existence, not only subject you to Uie ridicule and con- 
tempt of the world, but rouse the indignation of the other states in the 
Union at your obtruding ^'ourselves as a }K>wer among them without 
til -ir consent Consider what a number of men of different abilitiea 
will be wanting to fill the civil list of the State of Franklin, and the 
expense necessary to sup])ort them suitable to their various degrees of 
dignity, when the District of Washington, with its present offioersi 
might answer all the purjxxies of a happy government until the period 
arrive when a separation might take place to mutual advantage and 
Batisfactiou on an honourable footing. The Legislature will ahortlj 
meet, l>oforo whom the transactions of your leaders will be laid. L^ 
your representatives come forward and present every grievance in a 
coastitutional manner, that Uiey may be redressed ; and let your tormi 
of sepanition be proposed with decency, your proportion of the public 
debts ascertained, the vacant temtory appropriated to the mutual 
benefit of both parties, in such maimer and proi)ortion as may be juat 
and reasonable ; let your j)roposals bo consistent with the honour of the 
stito to accede to, which, by your allegiance as good citizens, you 
cannot violate, and I make no doubt but her generosity, in time, will 
meet your wishes. 

^^ ]3ut, on the contrary, should you be hurried on by blind ambition to 
pursue your present unjustifiable nioiisures, which may oj^en afresh the 
wounds of this late bleeding country, and plunge it again into all the 
miseries of a civil war, which God avert, let the fatal consequences bo 
charged upon the authors. It is only time which can reveal the evenU 
I know with reluctance the state will be drlvin to arms ; it will be the 
last alternative to imbrue her hands in the blood of her citizens ; but if no 
other ways and moans are found to save her honour, and reclaim her 
head-strong, refractory citizens, but this last sad expedient, her resources 
are not yet so exhaust<3d or her spirits damped, but she may take aatift- 
faction for this great injury received, regain her government over the re- 
volted territory or render it not worth possessing. But all these effects may 
be prevented, at tliis time, by remoWng the causes, by those who have 
revolted returning to their duty, and those who have stood firm, still con- 
tinue to support the government of this state, until the consent of the 
legislature be fully and constitutionally had for a separate sovereignty and 
jurisdiction. All which, by virtue of the powers and authorities which 
your representatives and others of the state at large have invested me 


with in General Assembly, I hereby will command and require, as 
you will be liable to answer all the pains and penalties that may ensue 
on the contrary. 

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State, which I have 
caused to be hereunto affixed, at Ilillsborough, the twontvlifth day of 
April, in the year of our Lord 1785, and ninth year of the Independence 
oi the said State. 

By SBs Excellency's command. 

Jambs Glasgow, Secretary. 

A document such as this, emanating from the highest 
authority known to the sovereignty of North-Carolina, con- 
ceived in language and spirit at once conciliatory and re- 
spectfuly though earnest and firm, could not be wholly disre- 
garded, and was not without its influence upon the reflect- 
ing and considerate. Copies of it, in manuscript, were dis- 
tributed, and read amongst the citizens of the new state. A 
closer scrutiny into the measure of separation that had been 
adopted, was instituted. A few had, from the first, advised 
adherence to the mother state. Their number had increased^ 
after the repeal of the Cession act. To such, the Manifesto 
of Governor Martin furnished new weapons against Frank- 
lin and their present rulers. But no one contemplated or 
advised a permanent connection between North-Carolina 
and her western counties, as a return to their former alle- 
giance must soon be succeeded by another separation from 
her, perhaps not less difHcuIt, or of less questionable validity. 
The policy of ceding the western territory to Congress, might 
ultimately be re-adopted, and the existing imbecile condition 
<if the Confederacy, led no one to think favourably of that 
alternative. A very large majority of the people, therefore, 
remained firm in their attachment to the new common- 
iTvealth; its machinery worked well. Law was, thus far, 
effectually administered. Treaties, for the acquisition of 
new Indian lands, were contemplated, the settlements were 
dally augmenting in number and strength, and the new gov- 
ernment was acquiring vigour and stability, from a proposed 
annexation of a part of Virginia. Besides this, there was a 
charm in the idea of independence. The Manifesto itself 
evidently contemplated, and seemed to sanction, a separation, 
not improbable at an early day ; and as, in the minds of 


most men, the question was one merely as to time, it was 
almost unanimously determined by the people to maintain 
their present position. The authorities of Franklin so de- 
cided also. Governor Sevier, accordingly^ on the fourteenth 
of May, addressed to Governor Caswell, who had succeeded 
Martin in the executive chair of North-Carolina, his Mani- 
festo, setting forth the proceedings of the State of FraiUcIiOt 
and answering, in detail, the complaints made against it by 
Governor Martin. 
Governor Sevier writes to Governor Caswell under date : 

State of Frankun, ) 

Washington County, 14th May, 1786. J 

Sir : — Governor Martin has lately sent up into our ooantry a Muu- 
festo, together with letters to private persons, in order to stir up sedi- 
tion and insurrection, thinking, thereby, to destroy that peace and tran- 
quillity, which have so greatly subsisted among the peaceful citixent of 
tiiis country. 

First in the Manifesto, ho charges us with a revolt from North-Caio- 
Una, hy declaring ourselves independent of that state. Secondly, that' 
designs of a more dangerous nature and deeper die seem to glare in tho 
western revolt, the power being usurped over the western vacant terri- 
tory, the Union deriving no emolument from the same, not even the 
part intended for North-Carolina by the cession, and that part of her 
revenue is seized by the new authority and appropriated to dilierent 
purposes than those intended by your legislature. . 

His Excellency is pleased to mention that one reason we have as- 
signed for the revolt, as he terms it, is that the goods were stopped from 
the Indians, that were to compensate them for the western lands, and 
that the Indians had committed murders in consequence thereof. He 
is also pleased to say that he is well informed to the contrary, and that 
no hostilities have been committed on that account ; but on the other 
hand, provocations are daily given the Indians, and one of their chie& 
murdered with impunity. In answer to the charge relative to what 
His Excellency is pleased to call the revolt, I must beg leave to differ 
with him in sentiment on that occasion ; for your own acts declare to 
the world tliat this country was ceded off to Congress, and one part of 
the express condition was, that the same should be erected into one or 
more states ; ixnd we believe that body was candid, and that they fully 
believe a new state would tend to the mutual advantage of all parties ; 
that they were as well acquainted with our circumstances at that time, 
as Governor Martin can be since, and that they did not think a new 
government here would be led away by the pageantry of a mock gov- 
ernment without the essentials, and leave nothing among us but a 
shadow, as represented by him. 

But if Governor Martin is right in his suggestidn, we can only say 
that the Assembly of North-Carolina deceived us, and were urging us on 


into total roin, and laying a plan to destroy that part of her citizens she 
so often frankly confessed saved the parent state from ruin. But the peo- 
ple here, neither at that time nor the present, having the most distant 
idea of any snch intended deception, and at the same time well knowing 
how pveeaingly Congress had requested a cession to be made of the 
western territory ever since the t)th of September and lOthofOcto* 
ber, inthe year 1780 — these several circumstances, together with a 
real necessity to prevent anarchy, promote our own happiness, and pro- 
Tide against the common enemy, that always infest this part of the 
worid, induced and compelled the people hero to act as they have done 
innocently : thinking, at the same time, your acts tolerated them in the 
eeparation. Therefore, we can by no means think it can be called a re- 
volt or known by such a name. As to the second charge, it is entirely 
groundless. We have by no act, whatever, -laid hold of one foot of the 
▼acant land, neither have we appropriated any of the same to any of our 
nee or uses, but intend everything of that nature for further delibera- 
tion, and to be mutually settled according to the right and claim of each 

As to that part of seizing the public money, it is groundless as the 
former. For no authority among us, whatever, has laid hold of or ap- 
propriated one farthing of the same to our uses in any shape whatever, 
out the same is still in the hands of the sheriff and collectors. And on 
ihe other hand, we have passed such laws as will both compel and justify 
tibem in settling and paying up to the respective claimants of the same ; 
all which will appear in our acts, which will be laid before you and fully 
evince to the reverse of Governor Martinis charge in the Manifesto. 

Very true, wo suggest that the Indians have committed murders in 
oonsequenoe of the delay of the goods. Nearly forty people have been 
murdered since tho Cession Bill passed, some of which lived in our own 
counties, and the remainder on the Kentucky Path ; and it is evidently 
known to the Cherokees, and their frequent Talks prove, they are exas- 
perated at getting nothing for their lands, and in all probability had 
their goods been furnished, no hostilities would have been committed. 

The murder committed with impunity, alluding to Major Hubbard's 
Idlling a half-breed, which Governor Martin calls a chief (but who was 
never any such thing among the Indians). We can't pretend to say 
what information His Excellency has received on this subject, moro 
than the others, or where from. This we know, that all the proof was 
liad against Hubbard that ever can bo had, which is, the Indian first 
sfemok, and then discharged his gun at Hubbard, before tho Indian was 
killed by Hubbard. As Governor Martin reprobates the measure in so 
great a degree, I can't pretend to say what he might have done, but 
must believe, that had any other person met with the same insult from 
one of those bloody savages, who have so frequently murdered the 
wives and children of the people of this country for many years past, I 
say had they been possessed of that manly and soldierly spirit that be- 
OODies an American, they must have acted like Hubbard. 

I have now noticed to your Rxcellency the principal complaints in the 
Manifesto, and such as I think is worth observation, and have called 

316 eovEBNom caswbll's bbplt 

forth such proofs as must evince fully the reyerae of the charge and 
complaints set forth. 

The menaces made use of in the Manifesto will by no means intinur 
date us. We mean to pursue our necessary measures, and with the 
fullest confidence believe that your legislature, when- truly informed of 
our civil proceedings, will iind no cause for resenting anything we have 

Most certain it is, that nothing has been transacted here oat of m 
disregard for the parent state, but we still entert«n the same lofpi 
opinion and have the same regard and afifection for her, that ever we 
had, and would be as ready to step forth in her defence as ever we did, 
should need require it / 

Also our iicts and resolutions will evince to the worlds that we hsfe 
paid all due respect to your state. First, in taking up and adoptiiig 
her constitution and then her laws, together with naming several neir 
counties and also an academy after some of the first men in your state* 

The repeal of the Cession act we cannot take notice of^ as we had« de- 
clared our 8(^parat]on before the repeal. Therefore, we are bound to 
support it with that manly firmness that becomes freemen. 

Our Assembly sits again in August, at which time it is expected 
commissioners will be appointed to adjust and consider on such matten 
of moment, as will be consistent with thcf honour and interest of eaek 

The disagreeable and sickly time of the year, together with the great 
distance from Newbem,as also the short notice, puts it out of the power 
of any person to attend from this quarter at this time. 

Our agent is at Congress, and we daily expect information from that 
quarter, res|)ectiDg our present measures, and hope to be adviaed 

We are informed that Congress have communicated to your state re- 
specting the repeal of the Cession act. Be that as it may, I am au- 
tliorized to say nothing will be lacking in us, to forward everything that 
will tend to the mutual benefit of each party and conciliate all matters 

To this counter-manifesto of Gov. Sevier, Governor Gas- 
well replied, under date — 

KiNSTON, N. C, l^th June, 1785. 

Sir: — Your favour of the 14th of last month, I had the honour to 
receive by Colonel Avery. 

In this, sir, you have stated the different charges mentioned in 
Governor Martin's Manifesto, and answered tliem by giving what I 
understand to be the sease of the people, and your own sentiments, with 
respect to each charge, as well as the reasons which governed in the 
measures he complained of. 

* For this letter, I am indebted to the politeness of Hon. D. L. Swain. It is 
extracted from the letter book of Gov. Caswell in his poseessioo. 


I have not seen Gk)vernor Martin's MaDifesto, nor have I derived so 
full and explicit information from any quarter as this you have been 
pleased to give me. As there was not an Assembly, owing to the 
members not attending at Oovemor Martin's request, the sen^e of the 
Legislatiire, on this business, of course, could not be had, and as you 
give me assurances of the peaceable disposition of the people, and their 
"Wish to conduct tliemselvcs in the manner you mention, and also to 
send persons to adjust, consider and conciliate matters, I sup])Ose, to the 
next Assembly, for the present, things must rest as they are with 
respect to the subject matter of your letter, which shall be laid before 
the next Assembly. In the meantime, let mo entreat you not, by any 
means, to consider this as giving countenance, by the executive of the 
state, to any measures lately pursued by the people to the westward 
of the mountains. 

With regard to the goods intended, by the state, for the Indians as a 
compensation for the lands, they, I believe, have been ready for many 
months, at Washington, and if I can procure wagons to convey them 
to the place destined, (the Long Island,) I mean to send them there 
to be disposed of according to Uie original intention of the Assembly, 
and will either attend myself or appoint commissioners to treat wiUi 
the Indians ; but in this, you know, it is necessary that whoever attends 
should be protected by Uie militia, and, under the present situation of 
a&iiSy it is possible my orders may not be attended to in that particular ; 
and however a man may submit to these things in a private character, 
he may be answerable to the people, at least they may judge it so, in a 
public situation. Therefore, without your assurances of the officers and 
men under your command being subject to my orders in this case, as 
matteis stand, I think it would be imprudent in me to come over or send 
commisuoners to treat with the Indians. Of this you will be pleased 
to write me the first favourable opportunity. It is my wish to come 
Ofer myself, and if matters turn so that I can with convenience, it is 
piobable I may. 

Grovernor Sevier further writes : 

Washington County, I7th October, 1786. 

Sir: — Having wrote you fully, in my letter of the 14th May last, 
lelative to the proceedings of the State of Franklin, and answered some 
complaints set forth in Governor Martin's Manifesto in the same, I shall 
now only take the liberty to inform your Excellency that our Assembly 
have appointed a person to wait on your Assembly, with some resolves 
entered mto by our Legislature. 

PSermit me to assure your Excellency that it was not from any disgust 
or uneasiness that we had, while under the parent state, that occ:isioned 
the separation. Our local situation you are sufficiently acquainted with, 
sod your Cession Act, together with the frequent requisitions from 
Congress, had convinced us that a separation would inevitably take 
place, and, at the time of our declaration, we had not the most distant 
idea that we should give any umbrage to our parent state, but, on the 
other hand, thought your Legislature had fully tolerated tlie separation. 
I am able, in truth, to say that the people of this country wish to do 



nothing that will be inconsistent with the honour and interest of each 

The people of this state regard North-Carolina with particular affec- 
tion, and will never cease to feel an interest in whatever may concern 
her honour and safety, and our hearty and kind wishes will idwajB 
attend the parent state. 

Before this letter was written, Governor Sevier had, in 
\ conjunction with other commissioners, under the aa- 
( thority of Franklin, already concluded a satisfactory 
treaty with the Indians, and felt neither the disposition nor 
the necessity of replying to that part of Governor Caswell's 
letter, which related to Indian affairs. It seems to have been 
wholly disregarded west of the mountains ; for, in August, as 
had been provided for, the Assembly of Franklin met again, 
and legislated further in promotion of the ulterior views of 
the new government. At this session, a law was passed, en- 
couraging an expedition that was to proceed down the Ten- 
nessee, on its western side, and take possession of the great 
bend of that river, under titles derived from the State of 

In the meantime, Colonel Joseph Martin, whose name is 
found amongst the members of the iSrst convention at Jones- 
borough, in discharge of his duty as Indian Agent for 
North-Carolina, had visited the Cherokee nation. Arrived 
at the Beloved Town, he writes to Governor Caswell, under 

Chota, 19th September, 1786. 

Dear Sir: — ^Your Excellency's favour of the l7th June, by Mr. 
Avery, never came to hand until the iOth inst I 6nd myself under 
some concern, in reading that part wherein I am considered a member 
of the new state. I beg leave to assure your Excellency, that I have* 
no part with them, but consider myself under your immediate direction, 
as agent for the State of North-Carolina, until the Assembly shall direct 
otherwise. I am now on the duties of that office, and have had more 
trouble with the Indians, in the course of the summer, than I ever had, 
owing to the rapid encroachments of the people from the new state, 
toge^er with the Talks from the Spaniards and the Western Indians. 

These Talks^ as further communicated by Colonel Martin, 
indicated renewed hostilities from several Indian tribes, in- 
stigated by the Spaniards, who were urging their claims to 
much of the western country, and to the exclusive naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi River. 


With this letter, wsis also sent the subjoined Talk of the 

Old Tassel. 

CnoTA, 19th September, 1786. 
Brother : — ^I am now going to speak to you ; I hope you will hear 
mc. I am an old man, and almost thrown away by my elder brother. 
The ground I stand on is very slippery, though I still hope my elder 
brother will hear mo and take pity on me, as we were all made by the 
same Great Being above ; we are all children of the same parent I 
therefore hope my elder brother will hear me. 

You have often promised me, in Talks that you sent me, that you 
would do me justice, and that all disorderly people should be moved off 
our lands ; but the longer we want to see it done, the farther it seems 
o£ Your people have built houses in sight of our towns. We don't 
want to quarrel with you, our elder brother ; I therefore beg that you, 
our elder brother, will have your disorderly people taken off our lands 
immediately, as their being on our grounds causes great uneasiness. 
We aie very uneasy, on account of a report that is among the white 
people that call themselves a new people, that lives on French Broad 
and Nolechuckey ; they say they have treated with us for all the lands 
on Little Biver. I now send this to let my elder brother know how it 
if. Some of (hem gathered on French Broad, and sent for us to come 
and treat with them ; but as I was told there was a treaty to be held 
with us, by orders of the great men of the thirteen states, we did not 
go to meet them, but some of our young men went to see what they 
wanted. They first wanted the land on Little River. Our young men 
told Uiem that all their head men were at home ; that they had no au- 
thofitj to treat about lands. They then asked them liberty for those 
that were then living on the lands, to remun there, UU the head men of 
their nation were consulted on it, which our young men agreed to. Since 
tlien, we are told that they claim all the lands on the waters of Little 
Krer, and have appointed men among themselves to settle their dis- 
pntes on our lands, and call it their ground. But we hope you, our 
elder broiher, will not agree to it, but will have them moved off I 
also beg that you will send letters to the Great Council of America, and 
let ihem know how it is ; that if you have no power to move them off, 
ther have, and I hope they will do it 

i once more beg that our elder brother will take pity on us, and not 
take oar ground m>m us, because he is stronger than we. The Great 
Being abore, that made us all, placed us on this land, and gave it to us, 
and it IS ours. Our elder brother, in all the treaties we ever had, gave 
it to US aho, and we hope he will not think of taking it from us now. 

I have sent with this Talk a string of white beads, which I hope my 
alder brother will take hold of, and think of his younger brother, who 
is now in trouble, and looking to him for justice. 
Given out by the Old Tassel, for himself and whole nation, in presence 
• of the head men of the Upper and Lower Cherokees, and inter- 
preted by me. 

For the Governor of North-Carolina and Virginia. 


The intelligence communicated thus by Martin to Gov. 
Caswell, of the hostile intentions of the Indians, and espe- 
ciallj^ of the policy of the Spaniards relative to their claims 
upon the Mississippi, had also reached the people of Frank- 
lin, and furnished additional arguments for a continued separ 
ration from the parent state. As the interests and dangers 
of the western people were peculiar, they chose to exercise 
the control of their own policy and means of defence, and 
to adapt these to the exigencies of their condition. Motoal 
exposure and common wants had generated a close alliance 
between themselves and the inhabitants of the coterminons 
section of Virginia ; and the contagion of independence and 
separation extended to Washington county of that state» and 
threatened the dismemberment of the Old Dominion. Patriok 
Henry was at that time in the executive chair, and at once 
communicated to the Legislature of Virginia the intelligenee 
of the disaffection in Washington county, in the following 
message : 

I transmit herewith, a letter from the honourable Mr. Hardy, corer- 
ing a memorial to Congress from sundry inhabitants of Washingtdki 
county, praying the establishment of an indenendent state, to ba 
bounded as is therein expressed. The proposed limits include a vast ei- 
tent of country, in which we have numerous and very respectable settle- 
mentA, which, in tlicir growth, will form nn invaluable barrier between 
this country and those, who, in the course of events, may occupy the 
vast places westward of the mountains, some of whom have views in- 
compatible with our safety. Already, the militia of that part of the 
stat(? is the most respectiiblo we have, and by their means it is that the 
neighlx)uring Indians are awed into professions of friendship. But a 
circumstance has lately happened, which renders the possession of the 
territory at tlio present time indispensable to the peace and safety of 
Virginia ; I moan tlie jissuniption of sovereign power by the western in- 
habitants of North-Carolina. If the y>eople who, without considting 
their own safety, or any other authority known in the American consf 
tution, have assumed government, and while unallied to us, and under 
no engag(Mnents to pursue the obj(?cts of tlio federal government, shall 
be strengthened by the accession of so great a part of our country, con- 
sequences fatal to our repose will probably follow. It is to be observed, 
that the settlements of this new society stretch into a great extent in 
contact with ours in Wasliington county, and thereby expose our citi- 
zens to the contagion of the example which bids fair to destroy the 
peace of North-Carolina. In this state of things it is, that variety of 
mformation has come to me, stating, that several persons, but especially 
CoL Arthur Campbell, have usea their utmost endeavours, and with 


■ome BOOoeM, to persuade the citizens in that quarter to break off from 
this eommonwealth, and attach themselves to the newly assumed govern- 
ment, or to erect one distinct from it And to effect this purpose, the 
eoualify and authority of the laws have been arraigned, the collection 
or the taxes impeded, and our national character impeached. If this 
most important part of our territory be lopped ofl^ we lose that barrier 
for which our people have long and often fought ; that nursery of 
•oldiem, from which future armies may be levied, and through which it 
will be ahnoet impossible for our enemies to penetrate. We shall ag- 
grandiie the new state, whose connexions, views and designs, we know 
not; shall oease to be formidable to our savaee neighbours, or respecta- 
Ue to oar western settlements, at present or m future. 

''Whilst these and many other matters were contemplated by the 
Siicntive, it is natural to suppose, the attempt at separation was dis- 
oonniged by every lawful means, the chief of which was displacing such 
of the field officers of the militia in Washington county as were active 
partiiaiis tm separation, in order to prevent the weight of office being 
put in the scale ^^ainst Virffinia. To this end, a proclamation was 
jMoedy declaring £e militia hws of the last session in force in that coun- 
ty, and appointments were made agreeable to it I hope to be excused 
nr ezpreising a wish, that the Assembly, in deliberating on this affiur, 
wfll prefer lenient measures, in order to reclaim our erring citizens. 
Tbiear taxes have run into three years, and thereby grown to an amount 
lM|y<»id the ability of many to dischai^e ; while the system of our trade 
lias been such, as to render their agriculture unproductive of money. 
And I eannot but suppose, that if even the warmest supporters of sepa- 
ifttion had seen the mischievous consequences, they would have retraced 
n^conndered that intemperance in their own proceedings, which oppo- 
srami in sentiment is too apt to produce." 

Hie limits proposed for the new government of Frankland, by Gol. 
Arthur Campbell, and the people of Virginia, who aimed at a separa- 
tion fi:om that state, were expressed in the form of a constitution which 
CoL Campbell drew up for public examination, and were these : Begin- 
afaig at a point on the top of the Alleghany or Apalachian Mountains, 
■o as a line drawn due north from thence will touch the bank of New 
Bivff, otherwise called Eenhawa, at the confluence of Little River, which 
is about one mile above Ingle's Ferry ; down the said river Eenhawa to 
the month of the Rencovert, or Green Briar River ; a direct line from 
Ihence, to the nearest summit of the Laurel Mountain, and along the 
faighest part of the same, to the point where it is intersected by the 
parallel of thirty-seven deg. north latitude ; west alons that latitude to 
ft point where it is met by a ^meridian line that passes £rough the lower 
part of the rapid of Ohio ; south along the meridian to Elk River, a 
Dranch of the Tennessee ; down said river to its mouth, and down the 
Tennessee to the most southwardly part or bend in said river ; a direct 
fine from thence to that branch of the Mobile, called Donbigbee ; down 
■ad river Donbigbee to its junction with the Coosawattee River, to tha. 
month of that branch of it called the Hightower ; thence south, to the 
top of the Apalachian Mountain, or the highest land that divides the 


-892 BOUMDABIBI OP nU«KL4«l. . 

«omceB of tbe eastern from tbe wteteni waien ; northwardlyi Amg te 
middle of said heights, and the top of the Apalachian Moantain,toflHi 
beginning. It was staled in Uie proposed form, that the inhaUtiati 
wiuiin these limits agree with each other to form themselves into a htby 
aovereign and independent bodj politic or state, by the nameoftks 
conunonwealth of Frankland. The laws of the Legislatare .were to bi 
enacted by the General Assembly of the commonw^th of FranUaad; 
and all the laws and ordinances which had been before adopted, nsedaai 
tt>proved in the different parts of this state, whilst under the jonrili* 
tion of Yiiginia and North-Carolina, shall still remain the role of dfiSjr 
sion in all cases for the respective limits for which they were ferme^f 
adopted, and shall continue in (uU force until altered or repealed bj tnl 
Legislature ; such parts only excepted, as are repugnant to the i%liti 
and liberties contained in this constitution, or those of Hub aad 
respective states.* 

The mcklcontents in Virginia had thus affixed sack bomr 
daries to their proposed commonwealth, as embraced ntt 
only the people and State of Franklin, but much of thie teni* 
tory of Virginia and the preaent Rentucky on the norths aal 
of Georgia, and what is now Alabama, on the aonth. Tba 
western soldiery had carried their conquests nearly to thoiiii 
limits, and it was probably the right of conquest alone, wUdr 
suggested the extent of the new state. The magnifioent 
project of the Virginia Franks received the support of few. 
men anywhere, and was abandoned soon after by its friei^t 

It was not so with the revolted people of North-Carolina. 
They continued to exercise all the functions of an indepen^ 
dent government, and under forms anomalous and perplexing 
beyond example, were adopting measures to improve and 
perfect their system, and maintain their integrity and separap 
tion. Thus far they had legislated and administered law, 
had held treaties and acquired territory, under the expedient 
of a temporary adoption of the constitution of the parent 
state. It remained yet for the people to adopt or r^ect the 
form of government that had been prepared by the conven- 
tion to whom that duty belonged. That body, and also the 
Franklin Assembly, at its August session, had recommended 
to the people to choose a convention for the purpose of rati- 
fying the proposed constitution, or of altering it as they 
should instruct. The election was held accordingly. It is 

* Haywood. 

MR. Houston's form of a constitution. *- 8S8 

not known who were the deputies chosen. The names of 
nineteen only of them have been preserved. They are Da- 
Tid Campbell, Samuel Houston, John Tipton, John Ward, 
Robert Love, William Cox, David Craig, James Montgomery, 
John Strain, Robert Allison, David Looney, John Blair, James 
White, Samuel Newell, John Gilliland, James Stuart, George 
Maxwell, Joseph Tipton and Peter Parkison. These are found 
jigned to a protest against part of the proceedings. The 
convention was probably larger than either of those previ- 
ously held. The form of government that ha^ been prepared 
tot the consideration of the people, had excited acrimonious 
debates and great contrariety of opinion. Some of its pro- 
visions being novel, were viewed as innovations upon the 
law and usages to which the voters were accustomed. In- 
•Iruetions were poured in upon the convention from all parts 
at the country in opposition to the exceptionable clauses. 
jSucb diversity of opinion existed as to cause its immediate 

In their deliberations on a subject so new to most of the 
members, and in the details of which few in the country had 
either knowledge or experience to direct them, many propo- 
sitioas were made and suggested for examination merely, 
Which were afterwards withdrawn by the movers themselves. 

In anticipation of the meeting of this convention, Mr. 
Houston ^'had, with the advice and assistance of some judi- 
cions friends, prepared in manuscript A Declaration of Rights 
and a Constitution, made by the representatives of the free- 
men of the State of Frankland, which being read on the iSrst 
day of the meeting, he moved that it be made the platform 
of the new constitution, subject to such alterations and 
flumendments as a majority might think proper. Another 
member moved that the Rev. Hezekiah Balch, a spectator, 
bat not a member, should have leave to offer some remarks 
upon the subject ; which being granted, Mr. Balch animad- 
verted severely upon the manuscript constitution, as prepared 
and read by Mr. Houston, and especially upon the section of 
it respecting an Institution of learning. As already men- 
tionedy the Frankland Constitution was rejected by a small 


majority. The president, General Sevier, then presented 
the constitution of North-Carolina, as the foundation of that 
of the new state. A majority of the house sustaining this 
proposition, they proceeded to remodel the North-Carolina 
Constitution, making only a few necessary alterations. This 
was, in a short time after, adopted by a small majority." 

*' A variety of names was pnoposed for the new common- 
wealth. Some were for calling it Franklin, in honoar of 
Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelphia ; others Frankland, as 
the land of freemen. But it was decided by a meyority 
(small) in favour of calling it Franklin." * 

The rejection of the Frankland Constitution induced its 
friends to have it published with an explanatory Introduction, 
written by some of the minority. At the same time there 
was published a pamphlet, on the '* Principles of Republioaa 
Grovernment, by a Citizen of Frankland." These publications 
were made at the instance and expense of the Frankland 
Commonwealth Society. Francis Bailey, of Philadelphia^ 
was the printer. Of this society, Mr. Houston was an active 

Some proceedings of this convention are found published 
as a preface to the Declaration of Rights and Constitution 
as presented to the convention, and afterwards published in 
pamphlet form. They are copied.J 

• Letter of Rev. Samuel Houston, of Rockbridge, Va., March 20, 188S, to 
this writer. 

t Several vcars since, this writer, in a communication addressed to Hon. Hitch- 
ell King, of Charleston, S. C, and extensively published in the Courier and eUe- 
where, vindicated at some length, his own accuracy in calling the new atato 
Franklin, and not Frankland, as adopted by several writers and some bistorianfl. 
It is deemed unnecessary to extract, here, a line from that communicatioD or to re- 
new the argument, as almost every original letter and official paper published in 
these sheets fortify and authorize his position, and furnish irrefragable proof of 
its correctness. The question is nd longer debatable. 

X This pamphlet is out of print, and cannot now be found. For the copy here 
republished, and believed to be the only one extant, I am indebted to the late 
Col. Geo. T. Gillespie. It was found amongst the papers of Landon Carter 
deceased. Secretary of State under the Franklin Government The pamphlet ia, 
in some places, so worn as to be almost illegible, and one page, at leaat it 





1. That all political power is vested in and derived from the people 

2. That the people of this State ought to have the sole and exclusive 
right of r^^ating the internal government and police thereof! 

8. That no man, or set of men, arc entitled to exclusive or separate 
emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of 
public services. 

4. That the Legislative, Executive and Supreme Judicial powers of 
government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other. 

b. That all powers of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by 
any authority, without the consent of the representatives of the people, 
is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised. 

6. That elections of members to serve as representatives, in General 
Aasembly, ought to be free. 

7. That, in all criminal prosecutions, every man has a right to be 
informed of the accusation against him, and to confront the accusers and 
witnesses with other testimony, and shall not be compelled to give evi- 
dence against himself. 

8. Thai no freeman shall be put to answer any criminal charge but 
by iudictmenti presentment, or impeachment. 

9. That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime but by the unan- 
imous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men, in open court, as here- 
tofore used. 

10. That excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive fines 
imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted. 

11. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be 
commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact 
committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offences 
are not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous 
to liberty, and ought not to be granted. 

12. 'niat no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of 
ills freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any 
mamier destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by 
the law of the land. 

18. That every freeman, restrained of his liberty, is entitled to a 
remedy, to enquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, 
if unlawful ; and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed. 

14. That in all controversies at law, respecting property, the ancient 
mode of trial by jury is one of the best securities of the rights of the 
people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable. 

15. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of 
liberty, and therefore ought never to be restrained. 

16. That the people of this State ought not to be taxed, or made 
•ulgeet to payment of ai\y impost or duty, without the consent of them* 
Mtres, or taeir repreeentatives, in General Assembly, freely given. 



17. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of ib» 
State ; and as stanaing armiee, in time of peace, are danfleroiii to 
liberty^ they ought not to be kept up ; and that the mUitanr uiould ba 
kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. 

18. That the people have a right to assemble together, to conault ior 
their common good, to instruct their representativesi and to iqppljr to the 
Legislature for redress of grievances. 

10. That all men have a natural and unalienable iig|ht to w^onli^ 
Almightv Gkxi according to the dictates of their own oonsdeooea. 

20. That, for redress of grievances, and for amending and straigt]i- 
ening the laws, elections ought to be often held. 

21. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental prindples la afaaoliile^ 
necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty. 

22. That no hereditary emoluments, prinlegee, or honouiBy ooglit to 
be granted or conferred in this State. 

28. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the geuna of » 
free State, and ought not to be allowed. 

24. That retrospective laws, punishing acts committed befate tiba 
existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oTO tes. 
aive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; therefore no ex poH jwi9 
law ought to be made. 



Freemen of the State of Frankland, elected and chosbit roB 

VILLE, THE 14th NOVEMBER, 1785. 

This State shall be called the Commonwealth of Franklandy and 
shall be governed by a General Assembly of the representatives of tba 
freemen of the same, a Governor and Ck)unci], and proper courts of jus- 
tice, in the manner following, viz : 

Section 1. The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a single 
House of Representatives of the freemen of the commonwealth of Frank- 

Sec* 2. The House of Representatives of the freemen of this State 
shall consist of persons most noted for wisdom and virtue, to be choaen 
equally and adequately according to the number of freemen in the com- 
monwealth ; provided when the number amounts to one hundred it 
shall never exceed it, nor be ever afterwards reduced lower than eighty 
and every county shall annually send the number apportioned to it by 
the General Assembly. 

Sec, 3. No person shall be eligible to, oivhold a seat in, the House of 
Representatives of the freemen of this commonwealth, unless he actually 
resides in, and owns land in the county to the quantity of one hundred 
acres, or to the value of ^hy pounds, and is of the full age of twenty-one 
years. And no person shall be eligible or capable to serve in this or 



any other oflke in the dvil department of this State, who is of an im- 
morarcharacter, or guilty of such flagrant enormities as drunkenness, 
gaming, profane swearing, lewdness, sabbath breaking, and such like ; 
or who will, either in word or writing, deny any of the following proposi- 
tions, viz : 

1st. That there is one living and true God, the Creator and Governor 
of the universe. 

2d. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments. 

Sd. That the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are given by 
divine inspiration. 

4th. That there are three divine persons in the Godhead, co-equal 
and co-essential. 

And no person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, 
who holds a lucrative office either under this or other States ; that is, has a 
fixed salary or fees from the State, or is in actual military service and 
claiming daily pay, or minister of the gospel, or attorney at law, or doc- 
tor of physic. 

See. 4. Every free male inhabitant of this State, of the age of twenty- 
one years, who shall have resided in this State six months immediately 
preceding the day of election, shall have a vote in electing all officers 
chosen by the people, in the county where he resides. 

See. 5. The House of Representatives of this commonwealth shall be 
aWled the General Assembly of the Representatives of the Freemen of 
Jrrankland ; and shall have power to choose their own Speaker, and 
all other officers, Treasurer, Secretaiy of State, Superior Judges, Auditors, 
members to Congress. They shall have power to sit on their own ad- 
journments ; to prepare bills, and to enact them into laws ; to judge of 
the elections of, and qualifications of, their own members. They may 
expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause ; they may 
administer oaths on the examination of witnesses, redress grievances, 
impeach State criminals, grant charters of incorporation, constitute 
towns, cities, boroughs, and counties, and shall have all other powers necea- 
aaiy fbr the Legislature of a free State or commonwealth. But they 
^phall have no power to add, alter, abolish, or infringe any part of the 

Two-thirds of the whole members elected shall constitute a House, 
(and the expense from the appointed time 'till they make a House, 
shall be laid on absentees, without a reasonable excuse,) and hanng 
met and chosen their Speaker, shall, each of them, before they proceed 
to busiiiess, take and subscribe, as well the oath of fidelity and allegiance 
bereafter directed, as the following oath — 

** I, A.^B.y do swear. That, as a member of this Assembly, I will not 
propose or assent to any bill or resolution, which shall appear to me in- 
jurious to the people, nor do, nor consent to any act or tiling whatever, 
that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge the rights and privileges 
as declared in the Constitution of this State ; but wiU in all things con- 
duct myself as a faithful honest representative and guardian of the peo- 
ple, according to the best of my judgment and abilities. So help m$ 

ThedooiB of the house in which the representatives of the fieemen of 


this State shall sit in Oeneral Anembly, shall be and remnn qMB, fa 
the admisBioii of all persons who shJl behave decently ; ezo^ whn 
the good of the commonwealth requires them to be shut 

See. 6. The votes and proceedings of the General Assembly shall Is 
printed weekly, during their sitting, with the Yeas and Nays on ma 
question, vote, or resolution, (except when the vote is taken hw baUo!) 
when any two members reouire it ; and evenr member shw ^v^^* 
light to insert the reasons of his vote upon the Journals, if he desires it 

See, 7. That the laws, before they are enacted, may be more matofsfy 
considered, and the danger of hasty and injudicious dete rmin a t io n a as 
much as possible prevented, all Bills of a public and fleneral natais 
shall be pnnted for the consideration of the people, before thev afe read ia 
the General Assembly the last time, for debate and amencunenit ; and, 
except on occasions of sudden necessity, shall not be passed into law* 
before the next session ci the Assemblv : And, for the more peifiMft 
satisfaction of the public, the reasons and motives for making anca lasim 
shall be fully and clearly expressed in the preambles. 

Sec 8. The style of the laws of this commonwealth shall be, J5^ si «i- 
aeted, and it is ker^ enacted^ by the HepreeeniaHvee of ike Frumm 
of ike Commonvealtk of Frankland^ in General AuenMy^ and Ay the 
authority (^ the same. And the General Assembly shall affix their. 
Seal to every Bill as soon as it is enacted into a law ; which seal ahall 
be kept by the Assembly, and shall be called the Seal of th§ Zotaa qf 
Ihinklandj and shall not be used for any other purpose. 

Sec, 9. As in every free government the people have a riffht of ftae 
suffrage for all officers of government that can he chosen by the people^ 
the freemen of this State shall elect Governor and Counsellors, jTuatioea 
of the Peace for each county, and Coroner or Coroners, Sherifi^ and aU 
other such officers, except such as the Assembly are empowered to 

Sec. 10. All the able bodied men in this State shall be trained foe 
its defence, under such regulations, restrictions and exceptions as the 
(Jeneral Assembly shall direct by law, presening always to the people^ 
from the ago of sixteen, the right oft choosing their colonels, and all ^ 
other officers under that rank, in such manner and as often as shall be ^ 
by the same laws directed. 

Sec, 11. The Governor of the State shall be annually chosen by thefirea 
suffirages of the people on the day of general election for Representatiyes 
for theCreneral Assembly, and the returning officers for each county shall 
make a fair return to the House of Representatives, of the persons voted 
for, and the number of votes to each, which the Assembly shall exam- 
ine, and the highest in votes shall be declared constitutionally elected ; 
but no person shall be eligible more than three years out of seven, nor 
hold any other office at the same time. 

Sec, 12. Thb State shall be divided into six grand divisions, each of 
which, as in the above mentioned sections, shall choose a Counsellor ; 
And these divisions shall be thrown into three classes, numbered Ist, 2d 
and 8d, which shall change their members in Council by rotation, be* 
ffinning with the first class the first year after they have served one, and 
file second the second year, and so on forever ; by which means aome 



aoqiudnted with business will be always in Coundl. And no person 
shall be eligible more than three years in seven, nor shall hold any 
other office in the State. 

See. 18. The Goven^r and Council shall meet annually at the same 
time and place with the General Assembly : The Qovernor, or, in his 
absence, the Lieutenant Governor, who shall be one of their number, 
chosen with the rest, with the Council, (two-thirds of whom shall make 
a board,) shall have power to correspond with other States : to transact 
buainew with the officers of government, civil and military ; to prepare 
such business as may appear to them necessary to be laid before the 
General Assembly : They shall also have power to grant pardons and re- 
mit fines, in all cases whatsoever, except in case of murder, impeachment, 
and treason, which they may reprieve 'till the end of the next session of 
Aflsembly ; but there shall be no mitigation of punishment on impeach- 
ment) unless by act of the Legislature ; They are to take care that the 
1aw» be £sithfully executed ; to expedite the execution of such measures 
as may be resolved upon by the General Assembly : They may draw 
upon the Treasury for such sums as shall be appropriated by the House 
of Representatives — tliey may also lay embargoes, or prohibit the expor- 
tation of any commodity for any time not exceeding thirty days, in the 
neesa of the General Assembly only : They may grant licenses, as the 
Imwa shall direct, and shall have power to convene the House of Repre- 
sentatives, when necessary, before the day to which they were ad- 
jonmed. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the forces of 
the State ; but shall not command in person, except advised thereto by 
iha Council, and then only for so long as they shall approve of. The 
Qovernor and Council shall have a Secretary, and keep fair books of their 
proceedings, wherein any Counsellor may enter his dissent, with his 
reasons in support of it 

See, 14. All commissions and grants shall be in the name and by the 
authority of the freemen of the commonwealth of Frankland, sealed 
with the State seal, signed by the Governor, or, in his absence, the 
lieutenant Governor, and attested by the Secretary ; which seal shall 
be kept by the Council. 

See, 15. No justice of the peace shall receive any fee, gratuity, or 
reward for his services as a justice ; but all other officers of this State 
ahall be allowed as moderate fees or salaries as possible, to be an ade- 
quate compensation for their services. And if any officer shall take 
other or greater fees than the laws allow, it shall ever afterwards dis- 
qualify him to hold any office in this State. 

See, 16. Every officer of government shall be liable to be impeached 
by the General Assembly, or presented by the grand jury of any of the 
auperior courts, either in office, or after his resignation or removal, for 
mal-adoodnistration. All impeachments shall be before a temporary 
eourti composed of the €k)vemor or Lieutenant Governor, and two 
members of the Council, to be chosen by the Council ; the three senior 
Jndffes of the Supreme Court, and three members of the General As- 
smoly, to be chosen by the Assembly, who shall, or any five of them, 
imd determine the same. 

Sec If. The Treaanrer of State shall be annually appointed, and no 


p^noneligiUe more than three yean soooeitiTel J. TheSeeretaiyofStete^ 
Attomey-Qeneraly Auditort, and snch like officers, shall be appointed ta* 
eDniallj ; but removable for misconduct And any officer, representatha 
ia Oenend Assembly, or in the Congress of the United Statea, who k 
convicted of a second violation of any part of this constitution, shall ba 
fcfover afterwards disqualified to hold any place or office in thia State. 
Sec. 18. That in every case, where any officer, the right of whoaa 

Spoiotment is, by this constitution, vested in the Goienil AsasnaUjr, 
all, during their recess, die, or his office, by other means, beaoina 
vacant, the Governor shall have power, with the advice of the Ooaneil 
of State, to fill up such vacancy, by granting a temporaiy commiaaioB, 
which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Aasemb^. 

See^ 10. That no Treasurer, until he shall have finally settled Ida 
aoQDunts with the public, and paid the money remaining in his hand to 
the succeeding Treasurer, nor any person who hereU^ie has been, or 
hereafter may be, a Receiver of public monies, under this or any oUmt 
State, until he has fully accounted for and paid into the treaaniy aU 
m<mies for which he may be accountable and liable, shall have a aeal in 
the General Assembly, or be eligible to any civil ofiSce in this State. 

See. 20. The fireemen of oum county shall, for the purpose of aaaa, 
justice and conveniency in holding elections, udA other public affidm, be 
divided into districts, as near one hundred in each as local ciionni^ 
atances will admit 

Sec. 21. The freemen of each district shall meet upon the seoond 
Tuesday of February forever, and, at their first meeting, el^ three of 
their own members, who shall be called Registers, and who shall keep 
a fair alphabetical roll of the freemen of Uieir district Any two of 
them agreeing, or upon advice of any five freemen, shall have power to 
assemble the freemen of their district to consult for the common good, 
ffive instructions to tlieir Representatives, or to apply to the Legislature 
ror redress of grievances by address, petition, or remonstrance. They 
shall preside in all civil district elections, shall meet twice, or oftener, in 
the year, to deliberate upon and prepare to lay before the people such 
matters as may be necessary for them to consider. And, to keep up a 
rotation of the members, the person who shall have fewest votes at the 
first election, shall continue in office one year, the second two, and the 
highest three. And no Register shall be eligible for two years after he 
has served his term. 

Sec, 22. That elections may be free, and corruption prevented aa 
much as possible, the Registers of each district shall summon the fr^ee- 
men of their district to meet at some convenient place, upon the firat 
Tuesday of March forever, where they shall elect, by ballot^ all the offi- 
cers for their district, which shall be hereafter directed, and the number 
of persons, indiscriminately, out of the county, appointed to represent it 
in the General Assembly, in the following manner : The senior Register 
shall call each freeman by name, in the order of the roll, who shall 
give his ticket or tickets to the second Register, and the highest in 
votes for district officers shall then be declared constitutionally 
elected ; but the names of the persons to represent the county in Gen- 
eral Assembly, and their respective numbers of votes, shall, by one of 



the Roisters, be laid before a meeting of one from each district^ wiUun 
ten days after the election ; and when all are examined, the highest in 
votes shall be declared constitutionally elected, and certified by the same 
Register. No freeman shall have, in this commonwealth, more than one 
annual Tote for any officer of government, and the Legislature hereafter 
to be appointed, shall, from time to time, enact and keep in force such 
laws as may appear necessary to prevent and remedy every species of 
oomiption, and to oblige freemen to attend upon elections. 

See. 23. Justices of the peace shall be elected for each county, ten or 
more, by the freemen, as shall, by the General Assembly, be thought 
neoeesary for each, of those residing within the same, and qualified as 
mentioned in Section 3, who shall be commissioned during good beha- 
viour, by the Governor or Lieutenant Governor in Council ; and no jus- 
tioe of the peace, or any other commissioned officer, shall hold his com- 
mission who misbehaves, or is found guilty of such things as dis- 
qnaliQr; nor shall any one be chosen who is not a scholar to do the 
business, nor, unless acquainted with the laws of the country in some 
measure, but particularly with e\'ery article of the Constitution. 

Sec. 24. To prevent the civil power usurping spiritual supremacy, the 
establishing of professions, denominations, or sects of religion, or patron- 
ising ecclesiastical hierarchies and dignitaries, also to secure religious 
fiberty and the rights of conscience for ever inviolate, ev«;ry citizen of 
this commonwealth shall forever have full and free liberty to join him- 
self to any society of Christians he may judge most for his edification, 
and shall experience no civil or legal disadvantages for his so doing : 
And every society or congregation shall have full liberty, without any 
restraiDt from law, to choose any minister they think best suited for 
iheir Christian instruction, and to support him as they think best; And 
evety snch society or congregation shall have full right to hold all lands 
given to, or purchased by them, for the use of their society, or any other 
property they may possess for religious purposes : and the society, or any 
description of men chosen by them, with power to act in their name, 
shall have power to receive, or to make and execute deeds, and enter 
into snch other specialties as the society may direct them to make ; and 
ahall have full power, by their agent^ treasurer, or collector, to receive, 
recover and retain all property and money justly due to them, in as full 
a manner as any other collector or agent in tliis commonwealth. And 
the future Legislature of this State shall have no power to make any 
law, act^ or resolve whatsoever respecting religion, or the spiritual ser- 
vice we owe to Gk>d ; but shall confine themselves wholly to matters 
purely civil. 

See, 25. Laws for the encouraging of virtue, and preventing and sup- 
pressing of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in 
mroe, and provision shall be made for their due execution. 

See. 26. That no person in the State shall hold more than one lucra- 
tive office at any one time, provided that no appointment in the militia, 
or the office of a justice of the peace, shall be considered as a lucrative 

See. 27. All writs shall run in the name of the State of Frankland, 

888 PftOTIilte MADS FOR LMABimrtt. 

and bear test, and be signed bj the cleiivof the respeetiTe (xmiia. In- 
diotments shall oondude, against the peace a$id dignity of the Siaie. 

See, 28. That the del^ates of this State to the Oontiiieiital Oongren^ 
while neeessaiy, shall be chosen annually bj the General AsaelnUy, bj 
ballot, but may be superseded, in the meantime, in the same mamwr; 
and no person shall be elected to serve in that capadty ht move than 
three years successiyely. 

See. 20. A Sheriff and Coroner shall be annually elected, on the daj, 
and in the manner, for electing Representatives in General AnemU^ 
who shfdl be commissioned as before mentioned ; and no person ahiS 
be eligible more than two years out of iSve. Also Commissioners, A»- 
sesors. Overseers of the Poor, Surveyors of Roads, and all such oflioeit 
as each district may require, at the same time and in snch number aa in 
future may appear necessary to the L^islatnre. 

Sec. 80. Tiuit the person of a debtor, where there is not a sferong 
presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison, alter deliviAiiiff' 
up, bonafidey all his estate, real and personal, for the use of his enA- 
tors, in such manner as shall be hereafter regulated by law. All priaoHh 
eiB shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for captal onhnoea, 
where the proof is evident or the presumption great 

Sec. 81. That every foreigner, who comes to settle in this State, hfti^ 
ing first taken an oath of alleffiance to the same, may purchase, or, hf 
other just means, acquire, hold, and transfer land or other real estete^- 
and, iSter one year's residence, shall be deemed a free dtisen. • 

See, 82. All kinds of useM learning shall be encouraged by tlife 
commonwealth, that i» to eayl the future Le^slature shall erect, before 
the year seventeen hundred and eighty-seven, one University, whidi 
shall be near the centre of this State, and not in a city or town : And, 
for endowing the same, there shall he appropriated such lands as may be 
judged necessary, one-fourth of all the monies' arising from the surveys of 
land hereafter to be made, one hal^nny upon every pound of inspected 
indigo, that shall be carried out of the State, by land or water ; three- 
pence upon every barrel of flour, and one shilling on every hogshead of 
tobacco, forever.* And, if the fund thence arising shall be found insuffi- 
cient, the Legislature shall provide for such additions as may be neces- 
sary. And if experience shall make it appear to be useful to the in- 
terest of learning in this State, a Grammar School shall be erected in 
each county, and such sums paid by the public as shall enable the trcia- 
teesto employ a master or masters of approved morals and abilities. 

Sec. 88. That no purchase of lands shall be made of the Indian na- 
tives, but on behalf of the public, by authority of the General Assembly. 

Sec, 84. That the future Legislature of this State shall regulate en- 
tails in such a manner as to prevent perpetuities. 

Sec, 35. That the Declaration of Rights is hereby declared to be a 
part of the Constitution of this State, and ought never to be violated, 
on any pretence whatsoever. 

See. 86. No tax, custom or contribution shall be imposed upon, or 

* DisBeiited to, as is mentioned in the Preface. 


paid by, the people of this State, nor apy appropriation of public mo- 
Bies made by the Legislature, except by a law for that purpose ; and 
the purposes for which the money is raised, and to which it is appro- 
priated, shall be clearly expressed in the preamble. And, annually, the 
Oeneial Aisembly sludl publish a full account of all money paid into the 
Treasury, and by whom ; also of all paid out of it, to whom, and for 

See. 87. 1£ any dispute or difference shall arise betwixt citizens, in 
jnatten of debt, property, character, or such things, the parties, agree- 

ato state their dispute, and leave it to arbitration, shall proceed in the 
owing manner : — they shall apply by joint petition to the Registers 
iqt the custrict where the case exists, or the defendant lives, unless they 
ahall otherwise agree, who shall name, in writing, twenty-four substan- 
tial freemen residing in the same, and tJie parties shall alternately strike 
out one until one half are struck out ; then the parties shall draw by lot 
such an odd number as they shall agree upon, out of the remainder, 
who^ after taking an oath to try the case in dispute without favour, affiso- 
tioD, or partiality, shall hear and finally determine the same. 

Sic, 88. The printing presses shall be free to every person who im- 
dertakes to examine the proceedings of the Lepslature, or any person 
or part of government ; and no prosecution shall commence against a 
printer for printing any thing whatsoever, provided he gives up the per- 
son's name. 

0/3ee, 39. The Legislature shall take care to proportion punishments to 
Se crimes, and may provide houses for punishing, by hard labour, those 
convicted of crimes not capital, wherein the criminals shall be employed, 
for the benefit of the public, or for the reparation of injuries aone to 
private persons. All persons, at proper times, shall be admitted to see 
the prisoners at their labour. 

Sec 40. The inhabitants of this State shall have liberty to fowl and 
hunt in seasonable times, on the lands they hold, and all others therein, 
not enclosed, and in like manner to fish in all beatable waters, and others, 
not private property. 

Sec. 41. The Legislature hereafter to be chosen, shall provide that 
marriages, in this commonwealth, be regularly and solemnly celebrated, 
between one man and one woman, before free and single. 

See. 42. That this Constitution may be the better understood by the 
citiaens of this commonwealth, and be more effectually kept inviolate to 
the latest ages, the future Legislature shall employ «omo person or per- 
sons, at the public expense, to draw it out into a familiar catechetical 
ibrm, and the Registers shall take care that it be taught in all the schools 
within their respective districts ; and shall further provide, that a suffi- 
cient number of the Constitution be printed, that each citizen may have 
one, as the inviolable charter of his privileges. 

Sec. 43. The future Legislature snail choose and keep a chaplain du- 
ring their session, if to be obtained, and shall annually invite some minis- 
ter of the gospel to open their first session, after the annual election, 
with a sermon. 

Sec. 44. The privileges and benefit of the writ of Habeas Corpus 
■hall be enjoyed in this conmionwealth, in the most free, easy, dieap. 

S84 onf . oocKB appoixtb) to mmsD vtatm cx>fra 

expeditioui and ample manner, and shall not be snapended hj theLept* 
" lature, except upon the most urgent and preanng ooeaaiooa, and far a 
limited time, not exceeding twelve months : And, in all casee, efvy mv-/ 
aon shall enjoy th^ liberty of being heard by himself and his coaaseL 

Sec. 46. In order that the fre^om of this commonwealth may bs 
preserved inviolate forever, there shall be chosen by the tn% soflErage of 
the freemen of thb State, on the day of in the year ona 

thousand seven hundred and ninety, and in every succeeding mth year 
forever, twenty-four freeholders, two-thirds of which shall conadUtte m 
Board in every case, and known by the name of a Comtcil ^ 8afii§^ 
and shall meet on the day A next ensuing their eki^ 

tion, who, during one year alter said day, shall have foil poweri 
their duty shall Im, to inquire wdether the Gonstitation has been 
aerved-— — * [ruuuqidbr or ooKamunox xmt.] . 

Before ita adjournment the convention appointed GenenLJ 
Gocke to present the constitution, aa adopted, and a 
rial to Congress, applying for admission into the Union. He 
was not received, and no notice waa taken of his miaBioii. 


The Franklin government had now commenced» a&d»9 
i ^^® ^^y Sessions of this year, the county officers 
\ were re-appointed or conlBrmed. Under the new dy^ 
nasty, ''Dai^iel Kennedy was confirmed as Clerk ; James Hons^ 
ton. Sheriff ; Robert Kerr, Register ; and Francis Hughes, 
Ranger. Tavern rates were, Diet, Is.; liquor, half pint, 
6d. ; pasture and stable, 6d. ; lodging, 4d. ; corn, per gallon, 
8d. ; oats, per do., 6d." 

In the meantime, Greeneville had been laid ofi*. The 
court-house stood at the lower corner of the present court- 
house lot. It was built of unhewn logs, and coverd with 
clapboards, and was occupied by the court, at first, without 
a floor or a loft. It had one opening only for an entrancoi 
which was not yet provided with a shutter. Windows were 
not needed either for ventilation or light, the intervals be- 
tween the logs being a good substitute for them. In this 
simple and unpretending chamber, the third Franklin Con- 
vention was held, and there the elaborated and original 
constitution of the Commonwealth of Frankland was pre- 
sented, angrily discussed, analyzed and rejected, and the 
constitution, of the State of Franklin adopted. In it the 


Commons assembled and deliberated, while the Senate con- 
vened in the old court room in Carr*s house, which, at this 
time, had become the village tavern. Greeneville became 
the permanent capital of the new state, the seat of its legis- 
lature, and the place where the governor met his council of 
state, and projected and matured the measures of his foreign 
and domestic administration. Most loyal amongst the loyal, 
to Sevier and to Franklin, were the inhabitants of Greene 
eoonty. There resided many of his captains and most of 
his officers of state. They were the last to abandon — they 
never did abandon him. Some of them may not have sup- 
ported the Governor of Franklin, but none of them refused 
their support to John Sevier. 

Petitions were drawn up and circulated among the people, 
praying the favourable consideration of the Congress of 
the United States to the separation of the western from 
the eastern sections of Virginia and North-Carolina. 

Other petitions from the people of the ceded territory, 
were addressed to the Legislature of North-Carolina. In one 
of these, here preserved, the petitioners '* beg leave to ob- 
serve that the honourable legislature of your state, on the 
8d June, 1784, passed an act ceding to the United States the 
territory which lies west of the Apalachian or Alleghany 
Mountains ; containing in said act, several conditions and 
reservations in behalf of your petitioners, who discovering 
with pleasure and acknowledged gratitude, the paternal and 
patriotic disposition of the legislature, to countenance and 
eonsent to the ease and happiness of your remote citizens, 
emboldened us to set about erecting a separate government 
firom that of the parent state. Assuring your honourable 
body, that it is not from any disgust to your constitution or 
laws, occasions us to supplicate you to permit a separation, 
Imt» on the contrary, (we) regard North-Carolina, and will 
never cease to feel an interest in whatever may concern her 
happiness and safety ; and that our hearty and kindest 
wishes will always attend the parent state." 

The convention having rejected the constitution as sub- 
mitted, and adopted that of North-Carolina, under which the 
Franklin government had thus far been administered, it 


was iioped that the pablio sentiment would be propitiated, 
and general harmony restored ; bat new elements of strife 
had arisen during the session of the oonvention, and new 
topics of discussion had been thrown out amongst the peo> 
pie. The dissentients comprised* in their number, maeh of 
the wisdom and virtue of the body to which they beloQged ; 
and desirous of sustaining themselves with their coiutita- 
entSy they published an account of their proceedings^ together 
with the rejected form of government, and appealed again 
to the people. Here, as might have been anticipated, eeotar 
rian bigotry, unlettered ignorance, and impassioned ultraisni^ 
would all tend to aggravate the existing discord and embit- 
ter the dispute. Sections I, II, III, and XXXTI, became [Hro- 
lific sources of controversy and angry debate. The depatiei 
in convention had dissented ; their constituents themaelTet 
oould not harmonize ; and without any further effort to re- 
model the government, the people at length acquiesced in 
the constitution of ther mother state. 

In the meantime, the settlements were extended over tiie 
territory acquired under the Franklin treaties with the 
Cherokees, and a new source of hostilities with that tribe 
arose from the encroachment of the whites upon lands not 
embraced in former cessions to the adjoining states. It was 
considered by Congress necessary, therefore, that a treaty 
should be held under the authority of the United States. 
Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin, and 
Lachn. Mcintosh, were appointed Commissioners on the part 
of the General Government. They invited the chiefs of 
the respective towns to meet with them, in treaty, at Hope- 
well, on Keowee, in South-Carolina. 

The boundary, which had been the chief cause of com- 
plaint by the Indians, was made to conform with the lines of 
their deed to Henderson &; Co., and the treaty held by Com- 
missioners of Virginia and Noith-Carolina in 1777. In their 
report to Richard Henry Lee, President of Congress, the 
Commissioners say : ** The Spaniards and the French from 
New-Orleans, are making great efforts to engross the trade 
of the Indians ; several of them are on the north side of the 
Tennessee, and are well supplied with the proper goods for 



the trade. The Governor of New-Orleans or West Florida 
has sent orders to the Chickasaws to remove all traders from 
that country, except sach as should take the oath of alle- 
giance to the Catholic King." ''The Gherokees say that the 
northern Indians have their emissaries among the southern 
tribes, endeavouring to prevail with them to form an alli- 
ance offensive against the United States, and to commence 
hostilities against us in the spring, or next fall, at the fur- 
thest ; that, not only the British emissaries are for this mea- 
sure, but that the Spaniards have extensive claims to the 
southward, and have been endeavouring to poison the minds 
of the Indians against us, and to win their affections by 
large supplies of arms, military stores and clothing." 

By the fourth article .of the treaty concluded on the 28th 
November, 1785, the Cherokee boundary is declared to be : 

Beginning at the mouth of Daok River, on the Tennessee ; thence 
nmning northeast to the ridge dividing the waters running into the Cum- 
berland from those runuing into the Tennessee; theooe eastwardly 
along the said ridge to a^ortheast line to be run, which shall strike the 
Biver Cumberland forty miles above Nasffville ; thence along the said 
line to the river ; thence up the said river to the ford where the Ken- 
tucky road crosses the river ; thenoe to CampbelFs line near Cumberland 
Gap ; thence to the mouth of Cloud's Creek on Holston ; thence to the 
Chimoeytop Mountaiir; thence to Camp Creek, near the mouth of Big 
Limestone, on Nollichucky ; thence a southerly course six miles to a 
mountain ; thence south to the North-Carolina line ; thence to the South- 
Carolina Indian boundary, and along the same southwest over the top 
of the Oconee Mountain till it shall strike Tugalo River ; thence a direct 
line to the top of the Currahee Mountain ; thence to the head of the 
sooth fork of Oconee River. 

In the meantime, North-Carolina was not inattentive to 
( the growing alienation and defection of her western 
( citizens. The Greeneville Convention had met on the 
14th of November. On the 19th of the same month, the 
North-Carolina Legislature assembled at Newbern. Fol- 
lowing the example of Virginia, they procee^'ed to take into 
consideration the state of their revolted counties, and passed 
an act, preceded by a preamble, in which it is stated as rep- 
resented to the Assembly — 

''That many of the inhabitants of Washington, Greene and Sullivan 
ooimtiflB,' have withdrawn their allegiance from this state, and have been 


888 BLBCnOMS held » WnAMKLOKf 

erecUng a temporary separate goverDment amopgut themeelvei^ in cmt- 
sequence of a general report ahd belief that the state, being inattentiva 
to their welfiire, had ceased to regard them as citizens, and had mads 
an absolute Cession, both of the soil and jurisdiction of the oountry in 
which they reside, to the United States, in Congress. And TrhnroM, 
sneh report was ill-ft>unded, and it was, and continues to be, the deaiie 
of the General Assembly of this State to extioid the benefits of civil 
government to the citizens and inhabitants of the western countieB, vasfSL 
such time as they mi^ht be separated with advantage and oonvenieiiea 
to themselves ; and the Assembly are ready to pass over, and eonign 
to oblivion, the mistakes and misconduct of such persons in the above- 
mentioned counties, as have withdrawn themselves from the govemmeBt 
of this state ; to hear and redress their grievances, if any they hare^ and 
to afbrd them the protection and benefits of government, until audi 
time as tfcey may be in a condition, from their numbers and wealth, to 
be formed into a separate commonwealth, and be received by the United 
States as a member of the Union.'' 

The act then grants pardon and oblivion for all that had 
been done in the revolted counties, on the condition that 
they retam to their allegiance to North-Carolina, and ap^ 
pointed officers, civil and military, in place of the ineom- 
bents under the Franklii^dy nasty, and fbipowered the vofen 
of Washington, Sullivan and Greene, to choose their repi^ 
sentatives otherwise than by the then required forms. Three: 
good and honest men, preferred by themselves, were to aet 
as inspectors of the elections, and to feturn a certificate in 
favour of members thus chosen. 

It is not known how many of the several counties partici- 
pated in the provisions thus made by the parent state, for a 
return of her western citizens to their allegiance. But in 
Washington county disaffection to the Franklin government 
began to manifest itself, and George Mitchell, as sheriff, issued 
the following notice, which is copied exactly from the origi- 
nltl, as found among the Sevier papers. 

July, 1 0th day, 1 786. 
.Advbrtibbment. — I hereby give Publick Notice, that there will be an 
election held the third Friday in August next, at John Rennoo\ near 
the Sickamore Sholen, where Charles Robertson formerly lived, to 
chooAe membera to represent Washington county in the General As- 
sembly of North-Carolina, agreeable to an Act of Assembly, in that 
case made and provided, where due attendance will given pr me. 

Geo. Mitchell, Shff. 

The election was held accordingly at the Sycamore Shoals, 


i ott Watauga River, when Col. John Tipton wa» 
( chosen Senator of Washington county, and Jame9 
Stuart and Richard White were chosen as members of the 
House of Commons of the Legislature of North-Carolina, 
These gentlemen had been members of the convention that 
formed the new government, and had in other ways partici- 
pated in its administration. Their well known influence 
and weight of character in the new settlements, rendered 
their present position of ill-omen to the future fortunes of 
Franklin. In Washington county especially, many, influenced 
by their example, accepted thet^ms of accommodation held 
oat by North-Carolina, and enrolled their names in opposi- 
tion to the new state. From this period resistance to, or re- 
fusal of its authority, assumed a more systematic and deter- 
mined form. 

In the early part of the year 1786, was presented the strange specta- 
cle of two empires exercised at one and the same time, over one and the 
same people. County courts were held in the same counties, under 
both governments; theoiliUa were called out by officers appointed by 
both ; laws were passed by both assemblies, and taxes were laid by the 
authority of both states. The differences in opinion in the State of 
Franklin, between those who adhered to the government of North- 
Carofina, and those who were the friends ot* the new government, be- 
came every day more acrimonious. Every fresh provocation on the one 
side, was surpassed in way of retaliation by a still greater provocation on 
the other. The Judges commissioned by the State of Franklin, held Su- 
preme Courts twice in each year, in Jonesborough. Colonel Tipton 
openly refused obedience to the new government. There arose a deadly 
hatred between him and Governor Sevier, and each endeavoured, by all 
the means in his power, to strengthen his party against the other. Tip- 
ton held courts under the authority of North-Carolina, at Buffalo, ten 
miles above Jonesborough, which were conducted by her officers and 
agreeably to her laws. Courts were also held at Jonesborough in the 
same county, under the authority of the State of Franklin. As the 
process of these courts frequently required the sheriff to pass within the 
jurisdiction of each other to execute it, a rencounter was sure to take 
place. Hence it became necessair to appoint the stoutest men in the 
eountj to the office of sheriff. This state of things produced the ap- 
pointment of A. Caldwell, of Jonesborough, and Mr. Pew, the sheriff in 
Tipton's court. Whilst a county court was sitting at Jonesborough, in 
this year, for the county of Washington, Colonel John Tipton^ nith a 
party of men, entered the court house, took away the pa})ers from the 
clerik, and turned the justices out of doors. Not long after, Sevier's 
parWcame to the house where a county court was sitting for the county 
of Washington, under the authority of North-Carolina, and took away 

3140 mm* awd militast offioub or wmamklou 

the clerk's papers, and tamed the court out of dooia. nomas Gerij 
was clerk of this court The like acts were several timea r e pe a led 
during the existence of the Franklin government At one time Jmam 
Sevier, then having the records of * the old court under North-OaroliB^ 
Tipton, in behalf^ the court of North-Carolina, went to hia home and 
took them away by force, and delivered them to Oorly. Shortly aftiv* 
wards the records were retaken by Sevier's party, and Jamea Sevkri 
the clerk, hid them in a cave. In these removals many ▼aliiable papoi 
were lost, and at later periods, fi>r want of them, some estalea of gmt 
value have been lost In the county of Greene, in 1786, Tipt<A broke 
up a court sitUnff in Greeneville, under the Franklin authority* Tin 
two clerks in all £e three old counties, issued marriage licemteai aod maar 
persons were married by virtue of their authority. In the coartB hsfl 
under the authority of the State of Franklin, many kttera of mi 
istration of intestate estates were issued, and probata of wiUa 

Notwithstanding the defection of some of its early advo- 
cates, and the neutrality of others of its friends, the govem- 
ment ^of Franklin continued to exercise its functions in 
the seven counties composing its sovereignty. Conoty and 
Superior Courts were held, the militia was mastered and 
disciplined, and civil and military electiens took place under 
its authority. In the new county of Sevier, Samuel Newel 
and John Clack were elected repreqentativea ; Saound 
Weir was clerk of the county court and colonel of the regt* 
ment In Spencer county, these same offices were filled by 
Thomas Henderson ; and William Cocke and Thomas King 
were representatives. In Caswell county, Alexander Out- 
law and Henry Conway were representatives ; Jneph 
Hamilton was clerk of the county court, and George Doberty, 
colonel of the regiment. In Greene county, Daniel Kennedy 
was clerk, and John Newman, colonel. James Sevier was 
clerk of Washington county. In Sullivan county, John 
Rhea was clerk, George Maxwell, colonel of the militia, and 
John Long, John Provin and George Maxwell, members of 
the Assembly, 

In addition to the administration of civil affairs, Grovemor 
Sevier, early in this year, found it necessary to repel tha 
aggressions made upon the citizens of Franklin, by the Che- 
rokees. In the treaty of Hopewell, that tribe had agreed to 
a lasting peace with the frontier people. Lulled into a state 


of false secnrity by the unanimity with which the treaty had 
been signed by the chiefs of that nation, emigrants had 
pushed their settlements on the north side of Holston as low 
down as Beaver Creek, in what has since become Knox 
county. Remote from sources of defence, and exposed on 
three sides to attack, this settlement was selected as the 
most vulnerable point. The house of Mr. Biram was at- 
tacked, and two men fell victims to Cherokee cruelty. Many 
of the settlers fell back upon the stations above them, while 
a few of them erected, hastily, temporary defences in their 
own neighbourhood. Some small parties were soon collected 
and pursued the authors of the mischief. Governor Sevier 
himself adopted the policy, heretofore ascertained to be the 
most effectual, of penetrating at once into the heart of the 
enemy's country, securing thereby an immediate return of 
the hostile Indians to the defence of their villages and homes. 
A call for volunteers was promptly met, by the rendezvous 
of one hundred and sixty horsemen at Houston's Station, on 
the waters of Little River, The troops crossed the Ten- 
nessee River at the Island Town, and passing by the Tellico 
Plains, marched over the Unaca Mountain to Hiwassee. 
Here, three of the Cherokee villages, called the Valley 
Towns, were destroyed, and fifteen warriors were killed. 
Encamping in another village close at hand, Sevier sent for- 
"ward his spies, who soon returned and reported that they 
had discovered a large trail. The troops were at once put 
in motion, and marched upon the trail. From the best in- 
formation before them, it was decided in a council of officers, 
that as the number of the enemy could not be less than one 
thousand warriors, as they were under the command of John 
Watts, a cunning and daring leader, and were probably en- 
deavouring to draw Sevier into a narrow defile, it was 
deemed, under existing circumstances, inexpedient to pursue 
the enemy without reinforcements. The pursuit was aban- 
doned — the troops marched back to their encampment and 
returned home. 

The effect of this invasion of the Cherokee country was 
salutary. Few aggressions were, for some time after, made 
against the frontier. But it was considered by each of the 

849 COLONEL martim's lbttbr. 

Bovereignties claiming jurisdiction over the country, a ^riae 
and necessary policy to adopt further methods of conciliation 
and security. North-Carolina had sent Col. Joseph Martin 
on a mission of peace into the interior of the Cherokee na- 
tion. Upon his return, he gave to Governor Caswell the re* 
suit of his observation on Indian affairs, and on some of the 
measures of the Franklin government, of which he at first 
waff an officer. His letter follows : 

Smith's Rivkr, Hbnrt Countt, Hay 11th, 1786. 
Sir: — ^The accounts from the Cherokee country are somewhat 
alarminff. I loft Chota the fourteenth of last month, when two or three 
parties had gone out towards Cumberland or Kentucky, to take satis- 
notion for four of their young men that were murdered by one HcClnrei 
and two others, near a small Indian town, on the Tennessee. I left a 
man in whom I can confide to watch their return, and fellow me with 
certain intelligence, which he has done, which is as follows : — ^The I7th 
of last month, the parties of Indians returned with fifteen scalps, sent 
seTeral letters to Gen. Sener, which be read, as they were o^n ; thej in- 
fcrmed that general that they had now taken satisfiKtioa for their 
friends that were murdered, that they did not wish for war, but if the 
white people wanted war, it was what they would get. He fiarther says, 
that he was informed that there was great preparation making by the 
Greeks, to carry on an expedition against Cumberland — that they weie 
about to erect a post at or near the Muscle Shoals — ^that several pack hones 
had already passed by Chickamauga — they say the French andSpaniaids 
that are settled there are to furnish them with arms and ammunition — 
the Indians told me I mi^ht depend that the Creeks would endeavour to 
break up Cumberland this summer — I have lately been through the 
difierent Cherokee towns this spring, from Tugalo to Hightower, on the 
Chattahoochee River ; they all seem very friendly, and I believe not the 
least danger from any unless Chickamauga ; they seem much divided. 
The Draggon Canoe, which is one of the chiefs, is much attached to the 
Spanish mterest, and I believe will join the Creeks; he killed two tra- 
ders the latter part of the winter, on their way to the Chickasaws from 
Cumberland. Ellis H^islin, one of the principal traders in the Cherokee 
country, informed me he saw a party of Creeks and Chickamaugas, on 
their way to Cumberland, and endeavoured to turn them back, but they 
told him they were at open war with the Vir^nians, and they would not 
ffo back. I spent some days at Iluiston, to find out, as well as I could, 
u)e disposition of the people respecting tlie new state, and by the best 
calculations I can make, two- thirds of them are for the old state, and I 
make no doubt of their sending delegates to North-Carolina next ses- 
sion ; they have held an Assembly lately, and appointed Capt. Cocke a 
member of Congress, and given Col. Charles Robertson liberty to coin 
thirty thousand dollars specie. I am told they are to have a coat of 
arms of their own, having a reference to the State of Franklin. One of 
the members of the Assembly informed me that the colonel was in such 


IbrwardueBB with his mint, that in the course of three weeks he oould 
furnish their members to Congress with cash of the new coin. 

Governor Sevier and the authorities of Franklin were not 
( inattentive, in the meantime, to their relations with the 
( Indians, and in the exercise of ohe of the highest at- 
tributes of political sovereignty, appointed Commissioners to 
negotiate a second treaty with the Cherokees. The Commis- 
sioners were William Cocke, Alexander Outlaw, Samuel 
Weir, Henry Conway, and Thomas Ingles. The conference 
begun at Ghota Ford, July 31, and was concluded at Coytoy, 
(Coiatee ?) Aug. 3d. On the part of the Indians, the negotia- 
tion was conducted by Old Tas:«el and Hanging Maw. The 
best account of the treaty is found in the letter of one of the 
Commissioners, enclosing the proceedings to the Governor of 
North-Carolina. It follows : 

Bend of CHroKET, Oct. 8th, 1786. 
Honoured Sir : — I have enclosed you a copy of a late treaty with the 
Cherokee Indians, and a just account of their conduct and prei^eiit situ- 
ation. They came into our settlement on the north of Uolston, the 
10th of July, and warned the settlement that there were Creeks to 
attack them the week following, and agreed with our people that they 
might know them from the Creeks, to wear a white flag on their head 
and on their guns ; and that whenever they saw any white people, they 
would halloo ^'Chota" to them; and on the 20ih of July, which was 
the time they said the Creeks was to attack the settlement, two young 
men were going from the station to a cornfield, some Indians hailed 
them, and called " Chota," and the young men went to them, and they 
«eem^ friendly, offered a swap of guns with one of the white men, and 
^t hold of the white man's gun, and then shot him down with his own 
gun; the other man rode oif, and the other two Indians fired at him, 
and shot two bullets through him ; but he rode to the station, and lived 
three days. He was well acquainted with the Indians that shot him. 
Col. Cocke and myself got account of the murder the 23d, and the 
dlst we were in the town where the Indians lived that did the mischief, 
with two hundred and fifty men. We sent for the Heads of the towns 
to meet us, at about six miles from the town, at Chota Ford, as you 
will see in the Talk, where they refused to give up the murderers, and 
said they were gone to the Shawnees ; but we had certain accounts that 
they were then in the town ; on which news we marched to the town, 
jmd, luckily, killed two of the very Indians that did the murder ; and 
sent for all the warriors from all the near towns, which met accordingly, 
and agreed to the terms I have enclosed ; and I was last week in the 
town, anc had a Talk with them, and they seem very friendly, and well 
satisfied we should settle the country, and say they will sell us the coun- 
t on the souUi of the Tennessee, and let us settle round them, if we 


will keep ths Creeks from killing them ; or they will leave the eonnliy 
entirely, if wc will give them {pioda for it; and 1 nm convinced, froto 
the late conduct und accounts 1 base had from them, the whole couDtrj 
to the Georgia line, on this side of Cumberland Mountain, may be had 
from them for a very trifling sum. 

With this letter. Col. Outlaw sent the following: 
A Trkatt held between the Officers of the State of Franklin and tha 

Cher(:kee Indian Chiefs, July 31st and August 3d, 1786, as fol 

Jolt Slst, Chota Ford. 
Brothert and Warriorx : — We are eorry that you have drove m to 
the necessity of coming to your ground to hold a Talt v.ith you afl^ 
the Grand Peace wilh our Great People, the Congress, and our own 
treaty with you, at DumpUn Creek. last year. You have now brolw 
through all your Talks, and murdered our young men, and stole oar 
horaes from our own settlements, and robbed and murdered our men at 
Kentucky, and on the Kentucky lioad and at Cumberland, and bsTO 
always laid it on tiie Creeks; but now we have got proof that it is your 
own warriors that do tlie mischief, and lay it on the Creeks. We have 
now come down to talk plain and simight with you, and to tell yoa 
that North-Carolina has sold us all the country on the north side of 
Tennessee and HoUton ; that we intend to settle on it, and wish to do 
so in peace with you all, and trade and live friendly with all our bro- 
thers. And, agreeable to the treaty you made with us, we, in plain 
words, demand the murderers from you that killed our people, and de- 
mand all the horses you have taken from us. and from the people oo 
the Kentucky Roiid and Cumberland ; on nbicli terms we "ill be bro- 
thers with you all, and continue so until you do more murder on our 
frontiers, at which time we will come down and destroy the towa that 
does the mischief, and not let one of the murderers live in the townft 
that are peaceable and friendly ; and if you are afrtud of the other 
Indians, we will protect you and help you fight them ; on which terms 
we will make peace wjth you and be friends. If not, we are warrion, 
and it is what you will. If you love peace, give up the murderers and 
^u shall have peace. 


Kow I am going to speak to you, brothers. We hare amok^ 
The Great Man above sent the tobacco. It will make your heaite 
straight. I come from Chota. I see you. You are my brothers, I 
see what has been done is the cause of your coming. I am glad to 
see my brothers and hold them fait by the hand. The Great Han 
made us both, and he hears the Talk. The Great Man stopped yoa 
here to hear my Talk. They are not my people that spilt the blood and 
spoiled the good Talk a little. My town is not so ; they will slwaya 
use you well whenever tbey see you. The men that did the murdw 
are bad men and no warriors. They are gone, and I can't tell where 
Ihey are gone. They lived in Coytoy, at the mouth of Holston. Thia 


18 all I hsYtt to say. They have done tbe murder. Now I give you 
0ood talk. I will tell jou about ttie land ; what jou say conoenyng the 
iknd, I will talk to Congress about, and the man that sold it I shall 
look to for it You say that North-Carolina sold you tbe land over the 
river. We will talk to all our Head men about it The Great Man above 
has sent you this white ^alk to straight your hearts through. I give 
Tou this pipe in token of a straight Talk. I am very sorry my people 
Las done wrong to occasion you to turn your backs. A little talk is as 
good as much talk ; too much is not good. 

CoTTOT, August 3d. 
Broikers and Warriors : — We are now in Coytoy, and are going to 
give you a straight Talk. You all well know that the great man over 
the water, Ein^ Gkorge, once commanded us all, and then we were all 
brothers ; and wat the great man, the king, got angry with us, and came 
over the water and killed our men and burnt some of our houses, which 
canaed a war, and all your people, the Indians, helped tbe great man 
over the water, and we beat you all ; and then the great man over the 
water gave up all this land to us, the white people, and made a peace 
with us, and then our great men, the Congress, made a peace with you, 
and agreed to live brothers with you all, and grive you such a piece of 
land to live on as they thought right, and so did your brother, John 
Sevier, governor of this country, and his commissioners at Dumplin, 
laat year ; but now you have broke all the good Talk, and your people 
have murdered our young warriors, your brothers, at Kentucky, Cum- 
berland, and here, at home, and have killed our people as you did when 
yon were helping the great man over the water, and have always laid 
it on the Creeks ; but now we know it is your people that does the 
mischief. And to convince you we are willing to live brothers, we have 
marehed a few of our warriors into the town that killed our young men, 
and burnt the town house where your people held the council to kill 
oar men, and have burnt the bad n\en*s houses, and destroyed as much 
corn as we thought belonged to them, but have not marched to any 
other town where our honest brothers lived, but have sent for them all 
to come and talk and smoke and eat with us, and let them all see that 
we will not hurt any of their people, our brothers, that are honest and 
will not kill our people. And we now tell you, in plain words, that if 
jou kill any more of our people, we will come down and destroy the 
town that does the mischief^ unless you bring the rogues to us ; and if 
our people have killed any of your people since we came down, you 
most blame your bad men for it, for we do not know your bad men 
when they are in the woods. You have killed our old commanders, 
Colonel Donelson and Colonel Christian, who were always your friends 
when you were brothers, and were our great warriors and counsellors ; 
and that you may not be any more deceived, we now tell you, plainly, 
that our great counsellors have sold us the lands on the north side of 
the Tennessee to the Cumberland Mountain, and wo intend to settle and 
live on it, and if you kill any of our people for settling there, we shall 
dflitroy the town that does the mischief ; and as your people broke the 
peace yon made with Congress and us, and killed our men, it was your 


&ultB that we come out to war. We have right to all the gnmiid ve 
inarched over, but if you wish to live brothers, and be at peace, we will 
let you live in Coy toy, as brothers, in your old houses, if you will agree 
to give up the murderers when you can get them ; and we only daim 
the iiiland in Tennessee, at the mouth of Holston, and from the head 
of the island to the dividing ridge between lldlston River, Little Biver 
and Tennessee, to the Blue Ridge, and the lands North-Carolina told 
us, on the north side of Tennessee, which lines and terms we will agvM 
to lay before our Great Council, and if you will agree to live farotban 
and friends, notwithstanding our taking of it by the sword, which ii 
the best right to all countries, we will do our best endeavours to get our 
Council to give you all some goods, in token of our sincere peace and 
lasting friendship, although you refused to give up the murderen at 
Ohota Ford when we sent to you and demanded them of you, agreeable 
to your treaty with us before we did you any harm, which, had yoi 
have done, we would not have marched into your town, bat woali 
have taken you by the hand and been brothers. Now, can jou blame 
us, when your people broke the good Talks and spilt our blood f We 
call upon the Great Man above to witness, and you, yourselves, know, 
that we have acted agreeable to our former treaty, and onlj wish to 
punish the bad men and settle on the land North-Carolina sold as. 

Wm. Oockk, 
Alex. Outlaw, 
Samuel Weab, 
Henrt CoirwAT, 
Thomas Inolbs. 
Attest — Joseph Conwat. 


August 8d. 

Brothers : — You have spoke to me. I am very thankful to you for it 
My brother, William Christian, took care of every body, and was a good 
man ; he is dead and gone. It was not me nor my people that killed 
him. They told lies on nie. I loved Col. Christian, and he loved me. 
He was killed going the other way, over the big river. I never heard 
of your Great Council giving you the land you speak of. I talked, last 
fall, with the great men from Congress, but they told me nothing of 
this. I remember that the great men and I talked together last fiedl, 
and did not think this murder would have happened so soon. We talk 
good together now, but the great people, a good way off^ don't talk so 
good as you ; they have spoke nothing to us about the land, but now 
you have told us the truth. We hope we shall live friends together on 
It, and keep our young men at peace, as we all agree to sign the above 
terms and live brothers hereafter. • 

Wm. Cocke, his 

Alex. Outlaw, Old M Tassel, 

Saml. Wear, mark 

Henry Conway, . his 

Thomas Ingles. Hanging M Maw. 

Attest — Joseph Conway.* mark. 


The difficulties with the Indians being thus adjusted, and 
provision being made for co-operating with Georgia against 
the Greeks, it remained for the authorities of Franklin to re- 
concile conflicts nearer home. The imperium in imperio 
condition of things threatened anarchy or misrule — perhaps 
disaster and ruin to all parties. The people in some of the 
revolted counties had sent forward their representatives to 
the Genenal Assembly of North-Carolina, which met in No- 
vember, at Fayetteville. They were, in like manner, repre- 
sented in the Assembly of Franklin. Taxes were laid by 
both governments and collected by neither, the people not 
knowing, as was pretended, which hud the better right to 
receive them ; and neither government was forward in over- 
rating the plea, for fear of giving offence to those who could 
at pleasure transfer their allegiance.* Previous attempts 
had failed in securing froitl North-Carolina her consent to the 
separation of her revolted counties. Disaffection had already 
manifested itself against the authority of Franklin, and some 
of those who at first were the most zealous and clamprous 
ibr the separation, were now opposing it in their legislative 
capacity at Fayetteville. Every day brought new embar- 
rassments to the administration of Governor Sevier, who, 
with the Assembly, was devising plans, by which to extri- 
cate the new government from impending danger. One of 
these was the appointment of General Cocke and Judge 
Campbell, as Commissioners, to negotiate a separation. Each 
of them was well suited for the purpose of his mission. The 
former was identified with the new settlements, by an early 
jMurticipation in the privation, enterprise and danger of the 
pioneer life. More recently, he had taken an active part in 
ibanding the new state — had been appointed its delegate to 
C!oiigress — commanded a brigade of its militia, and held other 
^positions implying confidence in his talents and address. His 
^BoUeague had also a minute acquaintance with every ques- 
"tfon relating to either of the parties — held the highest judi- 
cal station in the government from which he was accredited, 
«md by his private worth was entitled to the respect of the 
^ne to which he was sent. 

* Uajwood. 


To secare to his embassy the greater consideration and 
weight, the Governor of Franlclin addressed to the Governor 
of North-Carolina a commnnicationy conceived in respectfol 
and lenient terms, yet manifesting, at the same time, earnest- 
ness and determination, in maintaining the rights and ad- 
vancing the interests of his state. It is dated at his private 

MouKT Plsasant, Fbankuv, 28ih October, 1Y86. 

Sir : — Oar ABsembly have again appointed CkmimisBionen to writ 
on the parent state, who, I hope, will cheerfaUy consent to the sepini- 
tion as they once before did. 

It gives us inexpressible concern to think that any disputes sboold 
arise bstween us, more especially when we did not in the first instance 
pray the separation, but adopted our course alter the same was done Iqr 
Act of your Assembly. We humbly conceived we should do no wraig 
by endeavouring to provide for ourselves, neither had we the noKMt dis- 
tant idea that Sie Cession act would be repealed, otherwise matten 
might not have been carried to the length they are. Hie propriety of 
-Ihe repeal we do not pretend to scrutinize, as respecting the policy of 
your state ; but, permit us to say, that, in our opinion, we discovcf maajr 
embarrassments both parties are likely to labour under in conaequenes 
of the repeal. We cannot suppose that Congress will consider hadf 
well treated by North-Carolina, and we doubt that body will, therelj, 
become in some measure inattentive. 

The late Indian Treaties in the south seem deeply to concern each 
party, especially now we find Congress have ratified the proceedings, 
and we have called on your state to carry the same into effect, so &r as 
respects the same. We do not pretend to discriminate the motives that 
induced that body to enter into those measures, but beg leave to say, that^ 
in our opinions, tl^at had the deed or deeds been executed agreeable to 
the Cession act, that then our lands in the westward would have been 
secured under the conditions of that act ; but, under the present dt^ 
cumstances, the greatest part Of our western country lies in a very 
doubtful and precarious situation. I hope your Assembly will take un- 
der their serious consideration our present condition, and, we flatter our- 
selves, that august body will not submerge into ruin so many of their 
late citizens, who have fought and bled in behalf of the parent state, and 
are still ready to do so again, should there be an occasion. Our local 
and remote situation are the only motives that induce us to wish for a 
separation. Your constitution and laws we revere, and consider our- 
selves happy that we have had it in our power to get the same estab- 
lished in the State of Franklin, although it has occasioned some confu- 
sion among ourselves. We do, in the most candid and solemn manner, 
assure you that we do not wish to separate from you on any other 
terms, but on those that may be perfectly consistent with the honour 
and interest of each party ; neither do we believe there is any among 
us who would wish for a separation, did they believe the parent state 


would suffer any real inoonveniency in consequence thereof. We would 
be willing to stand or fall together, under any dangerous crisis whatr 

We cannot be of the opinion that any real advantages can be ob- 
tained by a longer connection. Our trade and commerce is altogether 
carried on with other states, therefore neither party is benefitted on that 
bead ; and whether it can be suggested that the business of government 
can be extended fix>m five to eight hundred miles distance, is a matter I 
leave to your own good sense to judge of ; and, further, it cannot be 
supposed that the inhabitants who reside at that distance, are not equally 
entitled to the blessings of civil government, as their neighbours who 
live east, south, or any other point, and not one-fourth of the distance 
from the seat of government, besides the incomparable advantages of 
the roads and other easy communications, that you have on the east of 
the Apalachian. However inconsiderable the people ^of this country 
may appear at this dav, reason must inform us that the time is not far 
distant^ when they will become as'consequential in numbers, if not more 
80| than most of the £astem States, and when your Excellency will be 
ploaiod to view the many advantages arising from the fertility of our 
aoily and the moderate and salubrious climate, you cannot, Lpi'ssume, 
diflbr in sentiments on this head. 

We will admit that our importation is not so flattering, but our ex-^ 
porti are equal to any. As to our present abilities, we must confess 
ihaj ttre not so great as could be wished for ; but, happily for us, we have 
tfaa parent, and many old and experienced states to copy after. 

Am to my own part, I have always considered myself happy while under 
tilie government of North-Carolina, and highly honoured with the dif- 
ferent iqppointments they have been ple<>sed to confer. 

I heartily wish your Legislature had either not repealed, or never 
paned the Cession act, for probably it may occasion much confusion^ 
eqpeoimlly should your Assembly listen too much to prejudiced persons, 
thooffh Uus I have no right to suggest, but fear we may have a quarrel 
■Ufficient on our hands without any among ourselves. 

I am authorized to say there is no set of people can think more highly 
of Toor government than those who want the separation^ and they only 
wish it to answer their better conveniency ; and, though wanting to be 
Mfwrated in government, wish to be united in friendship, and hope that 
aantaal good offices may ever pass between the parent and infant state, 
iHiich is my sincere wish and desire. 

Judge Campbell, on account of ill health, was unable to 
accompany the other Commissioner on bis embassy to Fay- 
atteville. But, desirous of effecting its object, '^ a ratifica- 
tion of our independence," he forwarded to Governor Cas- 
well his written argument in support of it, as follows : 

State of Franklin, ) 
Caswell County, Nov. dOth, 1786. j* 
Mtj it please your Excellency — 

I liATe heaitated to address your Excellency on so delicate a subject as 


the present I sball only state a few facts, and leave joxiT Exodkoejlo 
draw the conclusion. 

Is not the continent of America one day to become one oonsolidaied 
government of United States? Is not your state, when connected w^ 
this part of the country, too extensive ? Are we not^ then, one day to bet 
separate people ! Do you receive any advantage from na aa How situated! 
or do you ever expect to receive any ! I believe you do not. Suffer m, 
then, to pursue our own happiness in a way moat agreeable to oir 
situation and circumstances. The plans laid for a re^lar and sjt- 
tematic government in this country, are greatly frustrated by the oppo- 
sition from your country. Can a people so nearly connected as yom 
are with ours, delight in our misfortunes ? The rapid settlements tbd 
are making, and have been made out of the bounds prescribed both hj 
your state and ours, is a matter worthy your consideration ; our diTisioDi 
are favourable to those who have a mind to transgress our lawa. If yoa 
were to urge us, and it were possible we should revert back to yon, ia 
what a labyrinth of difficulties would we be involved Y Witness the 
many lawsuits, which have been decided under the sanction of the Um 
of FranEIin, the retrial of which would involve many persons in eertna 

If we set out wrong, or were too hasty in our separation, this oountry 
is not altogether to blame ; your state pointed out the line of coDdoc^ 
which we adopted ;*we really thought you in earnest when you ceded m 
to Congress. If you then thought we ought to be separate, or if yot 
now think we ever ought to be, permit us to complete the work that ii 
more than half done ; suffer us to give energy to our laws and foroe ta 
our councils, by saying we are a separate and independent people, and 
we will yet be happy. I suppose it will astonish your Exoellencf to 
hear that there are many families settled within nine miles of the 
Cherokee nation. What will be the consequence of those emigrations! 
Our laws and government must include these people or they will be- 
come dangerous ; it is vain to say they must be restrained. Have not 
all America extended their back settlements in opposition to laws and 
proclamations ? The Indians are now become more pusillanimous, and 
consequently will be more and more encroached upon ; they must, they 
will Ik* circumscribed. Some of your politicians think we have not men 
of abilities to conduct the reins of government ; this may in some mea- 
sure be true, but all new states must have a beginning, and we are 
daily increasing in men both of political and law knowledge. It was 
not from a love of novelty, or the desire of title, I believe, that our leaders 
were induced to engage in the j)resont revolution, but from pure neces- 
sity. We were getting into confusion, and you know any government is 
better than anarchy. Matters will be differently represented to yon, 
but you may rely on it, a great majority of the people are anzioiiS for 
a separation. Nature has separated us ; do not oppose her in her work; 
by acquiescing you will bless us, and do yourself no injury ; you bless us 
by uniting the disaffected, and do yourself no injury, because you lose 
nothing but people who are a clog on your government, and to whom 
you cannot do equjil justice by reason of their detached situation. 

I was appointed to wait on your General Assembly, to urge a ratifi- 


catioB ci oar independence, but the misfortune of losing one of my eyes, 
and some other occurrences, prevented me. You will, therefore, par- 
don me for the liberties I have taken, whilst endeavouring to serve a 
people whose situation is truly critical. 

Notwithstanding these earnest representations made in 
behalf of the people of Franklin, the Assembly of North- 
Carolinay disregarding their protests and memorials, con- 
tinued to legislate for them. The territory that had been em-- 
braced in the new county of Spencer, under the Franklin 
Crovemment, was, by the Legislature of North-Carolina, laid 
off into a new county called Hawkins, and civil and mili- 
tary officers were at the same session appointed for i&, and 
the time was fixed by law for holding the courts. The As- 
sembly had also taken into consideration the measures 
necessary to be adopted in relation to the revolters in 
Franklin. At this moment. General Cocke, the other Com* 
miasioner from the State of Franklin, appeared in Fayette- 
yilley and, at his request, was heard at the bar of the House 
of Commons. In a speech of great length, as copied from 
Haywoody he pathetically depicted the miseries of his dis- 
tressed countrymen ; he traced the motives of their separa- 
tion to the/lifficult and perilous condition in which they had 
been placed by the Cession act of 1 784 ; he stated that the 
savages in their neighbourhood, often committed upon thede- 
tenceless inhabitants the most shocking barbarities; and 
tiiat they were without the means of raising or subsisting 
droops for their protection ; without authority to levy men ; 
"^irithout the power to lay taxes for the support of internal 
^government ; and without the hope that any of their neces- 
sary expenditures would be defrayed by the State of North- 
iC/&rolina, which had then become no more interested in their 
Safety than any other of the United States. The sovereignty. 
^^tained being precarious and nominal, as it depended on the 
mce of the cession by Congress, so it was anticipa- 
woald be the concern of North-Carolina for the ceded 
bvrritory. With these considerations full in view, what were 
people of the ceded territory to do, to avoid the blow of 
aplifted tomahawk ? How were the women and children 
be rescued from the impending destruction ? Would Con- 


gress come to their aid 7 - Alas I Congress had not yet ac- 
cepted of them, and possibly, never would. And if accepted, 
Congress was to deliberate on the quantum of defence which 
might be afforded to them. The distant states vrould wish 
to know what profits they could respectively draw from the 
ceded country, and how much land would remain, aikcr 
satisfying the claims upon it. The contributions from the 
several states were to be spontaneous. They might be Um 
limited to do any good, too tardy for practical purposei. 
They might be unwilling to burthen themselves for the salva* 
tion of a people not connected with them by any endearing 
ties. * The* powers of Congress were too feeble to enfbiee 
contributions. Whatever aids should be resolved on, mi^ 
not reach the objects of their bounty, till all was lost 
Would common prudence justify a reliance upon such pro^ 
pects ? Could the lives of themselves and their families be 
staked upon them 7 Immediate and pressing necessity called 
for the power, to concentrate the scanty means they 
of saving themselves from destruction. A cruel and i\ 
ious foe was at their doors. Delay was but another name 
for death. They might supinely wait for events, but the fint 
of them would be the yell of the savage through all their 
settlements. It was the well-known disposition of the sav- 
ages to take every advantage of an unpreparedness to receive 
them, and of a sudden to raise the shrieking cry of exulta- 
tion over the fallen inhabitants. The hearts of the people of 
North-Carolina should not be hardened against their breth- 
ren, who have stood by their sides in perilous times, and 
never heard their cry of distress when they did not instantly 
rise and march to their aid. Those brethren have bled in 
profusion to save you from bondage, and from the sangui- 
nary hands of a relentless enemy, whose mildest laws for 
the punishment of rebellion, is beheading and quartering. 
When driven in the late war, by the presence of that enemy 
from your homes^ we gave to many of you a sanctified asy- 
lum in the bosom of our country, and gladly performed the 
rites of hospitality to a people we loved so dearly. Every 
hand was ready to be raised for the least unhallowed violin 
tion of the sanctuary in which they reposed. 


The act for our dismissal was, indeed, recalled in the winter 
of 1784; what then was our condition 7 More pennyless, 
defenceless and unprepared, if possible, than before, and un- 
der the same necessity as ever, to meet and consult together 
for our common safety. The resources of the country all 
locked up, where is the record that shews any money or sup- 
plies sent to us ? — a single soldier ordered to be stationed on 
the frontiers, or any plan formed for mitigating'the horrors 
of our exposed situation ? On the contrary, the savages are 
irritated by the stoppage of those goods on their passage, 
"which were promised as a compensation for the lands which 
had been taken from them. If North-Carolina must yet hold us 
in subjection, it should at lecist be understood to what a state 
of distraction, suffering and poverty, her varying conduct 
has reduced us, and the liberal hand of generosity should be 
widely opened for relief, from the pressure of their preseut 
circumstances; all animosity should be laid aside and buried 
in deep oblivion, and our errors should be considered as the 
oSbpring of greater errors committed by yourselves. It be- 
longs to a magnanimous people to weep over the failings of 
lihair unfortunate children, especially if prompted by the in- 
eonsiderate behaviour of the parent. Far should it be 
firom their hearts to harbour the unnatural purpose of adding 
itill more affliction to those who have suffered but too much 
Iraady. It belongs to a magnanimous people to give an 
idastrious attention to circumstances, in order to form a just 
dgment upon a subject so much deserving of their serious 
oditation, and when onca carefully formed, to employ, with 
ialous anxiety, the. best eflbrts of their purest wisdom, in 
MMing a course to pursue, suitable to the dignity of their 
B character, consl>tent with their own honour, and the 
t calculated to allay that storm of distraction in which 
rbapless' children have been so unexpectedly involved, 
le mother shall judge the expense of adhesion too heavy 
9 borne, let us remain as we are, and support ourselves 
ir own exertions ; if otherwise, let the means for the con- 
ace of our connexion be supplied with the degree of 
vlity which will demonstrate seriousness on the one hand 

3cure affection on the other. 


Hi^ speech was heard with attention, and he retired. 

The Assembly progressed in deliberating on the measures to be 
adopted with respect to the revolted counties. By another act of this 
session, they pardoned the offences of all persons who had returned to 
their allegiance to the State of North-Carolina, and restored them to all 
the prixileges of the other citizens of the state, as if the said ofienosi 
and misconduct had never existed. With regard to decisions respectiDg 
property, which were incompatible with justice, they enacted, that the 
person injured should have remedy at common law. Thej contiDued 
in office all officers, both civil and military, who held and enjoyed sudi 
offices on the Ist of April, iTS^i; but declared vacant the offices of all 
such persons as had accepted and exercised otlier offices and appoiDlr 
ments, the acceptance and exercise of which were considered to be i 
resignation of their former offices held under the State of North-Canh 
lina ; and they directed'that such vacant offices, both civil and militaij, 
shall be filled with proper persons to be appointed by the General Ai- 
sembly, and commissioned by the Governor of North-Carolina^ as bj 
law directed.* 

The tatter provisions of this act produced great dissatis- 
faction amongst the people upon whom it was intended to 
operate. The old office holders were capable, they had been 
faithful, and their experience and attention to official duty 
had secured universal confidence and approbation These^ 
upon whom the new appointments were conferred, were 
many of them non-residents, inexperienced and not reliable, 
selected by the favouritism of some functionary in the old 
state, and, for that reason, odious to the people. Their ap- 
pointment was denounced by and drew forth the bitter con- 
demnation of some of both parties. The temper of the com- 
plainants is seen in the letter following, from Judge Gamp- 
bell to the Governor. 

State of Frakkuk, ) 
Caswell County, March 18th, 1787. \ 
May it please your Excellency : 

I was honoured with yours of the 23d of February, for which I 
beg you to accept of my most cordial acknowledgments. The majoritr 
of the people of Franklin proclaim, with a degree of enthusiastic zeal, 
against a reversion to your state. Indeed, I am at a loss to conjecture 
whether your Assembly wished us to revert ; if so, why did they treat 
the old fiiithful officers of this country with so much contempt ! Officers 
who have suffered in the common cause, who have been faithful in the 
discharge of the trust reposed in them, have been displaced, without 
even the formaUty of a trial. Representations by a few malcontents 

• Haywood. 



i bite been the cause of such proceedingB, but surely it #a8 a 
.iiipolitic Btep. If the old offioera, who were the choice of the 
la^ and under whom thej have long served, had been continued, I 
t noi but all things would have been Settled here, agreeable to the 

n[uine wish of jour General Assembly ; but such infringements 
berties and privileges of a free people will never be attended 
iay iudntary consequence. I also blame the law, which passed in 
^Aaiemblj, to enable the people here to hold partial elections. K 
i. ilitended to divide us, and set us to massacreing one another, it 
Ml concerted, but an ill-planned scheme, if intended for the good 
L The great number of warrants which issue from jour entrj- 
!i oflSce, without the composition monej being paid, is a yery great 
nd will tend exceedingly to embarrass this country. But I under- 
JEOUr Assembly have put a stop to such unfair proceedings. You 
)otf if the people here could be brought to agree in making a 
111 application to the Legislature of North- Carolina, the desired 
t wigUi easily be brought about Human nature is the same in all 
list. To expect to bnng a people, cordially and unanimously, to 
I (Bfen the most salutaiy measure, is not to be expected, and they 
■Sit assuredly be refiractory to doubtful and exceptionable plans. 
• people here — for I have been in public assemblieSi and made it 
gpiness to collect their sentiments — dread the idea of a reversion. 
ii^^ if North-Caroh'na is in earnest about granting them a separa- 
Hm not permit them to go on as they have begun, and not involve 
.in Inextricable difficulties, by audomg the work of two or three 
jMrtf They made offers by their a|;ent, which they think waa 
nUe to your country ; but they rejected \it with contempt I 
we Inll offered by General Rutherford to your Assembly, in behidf 
b|wople. What conditions, say they, would North-Carolina extort 
m^ were we under their laws and immediate influence f Indeed, 
jjiiid is tilled with painful anxiety for this people ; the sword of jus- 
nd vengeance will, I believe, be shortly drawn against those of this 
IT who attempt to overturn and violate the laws and government 
inUiii, and God only knows what will be the event If any blood is 
this occasion, the act for, partial elections from your country will be 
of it ; and I am bold to say, the author of that act was^ the 
ir of much evil. That your Excellency may not be in the idark 
; the spirit and determination of a great majority of these people, 
iporting, maintaining and defending their beloved Franklin, I shall 
fon a brief and concise detail of what has transpired here since the 
if our memorial und personal application to the Legislature of 
jf-Ovolina has been announced to us. Pains were taken to col- 
the wishes of tlie people respecting a reversion ; many, who were 
■Ij lakewarm, are now flaming patriots for Franklin. Those who 
real Franklinites, are now burning with enthusiastic zeal. They 
lit North-Carolina has not treated us like a parent, but like a step- 
i She means to sacrifice us to the Indian savages ; she hw broke 
Id oflScers, under whom we fought and bled, and placed over us 
' own unskilled in military achiewhents, and who were none of our 
i» The General Assembly has been convened and steps were taken for 


surily.wilh adegrce of unanimity iwn-er before ki 
Mmbly. A treaty ie set on foot with tbe Indi 
li^offioe, aa opemdlu tlie Tennessee from the south aide of Frenrh Broad 
«W ?<J*ton Riven, did not interfere ivith the noKh gid«, wbt^re your 
qAmww opened, and o'lulioiwly tivoided interferinc; witli the rigltts of C«n- 
gRM, Yon may jud{r<- frora the foregoing nhftberthefO people are in 
«IH*eit or -VOL Von must not conclude we are allc^lher UDanituoiu, 
haf^l do toeure you a very great majority, perbspH nlneteen-tweDlieliM, 
WMU determiDed (o p. i>i(ieru at all hasitirdB. I make no doubl but jour 
BupHency -will nae vomp influence to bring mattere to a friendly an*, 
idwtageons i»ue fw both conntrics. Nothing that the love of hn — 
BUnitf t)Mi iupira ma witb, eball be wanting on my purt 

Th« Legiiilatnre of North-Carolina, at the same session^ 
vImq thi? obnoxious act was passed, adopted the concilia—- 
tOKf msMure of relinqniahing to the citizens of thn revolted^ 

oamties all the taxes due and unpaid since 1784. This, with 

ri^V act of pardon and oblivion for such as should return to— — 
tib|iJr.altegi&Dce to North-Carolina, bad the desired influences—* 
Vfoa a part of the disaffected. Commissions were sent Ic^cs^ 
■a* accepted by several in Washington, Sullivan, and Haw- — 
Um oountieB, as justices of the peace, under the authority 

o£,the old BtatB, and by them courts were held and law ad- ' 

■aisiBtered, as though the State of Franklin did not exist. In — 
Greene cotinty, and the new counties below it, men could -*" 
BOt be found willing to accept the offered commissions. "" 
Tbere the authority of Franklin ^as supreme, and there 
, ( was no conflict of jurisdiction. It was very diSerent ^ 
( elsewhere, and especially in Washington county. Pre- 
vious to the revolt, courts had been held at Joneab<»-o', and 
bad afterwards been held at the same place under the new 
government. Now, when tbe sentiment of allegiance to 
riorth-Carolina had, in some measure, become general, the 
newly appointed magistrates, as directed by law, opened and 
held their courts at Davis's, ten miles above Jonesboro', on 
Bbffalo Creek. The partizans of one government quarrelled 
with those of the other. The officers of each, in discharge 
of official duty, came into conflict with tde authority of the 
rival government. The animosity, thus engendered, became 
tbe more acrimonious, as this county was the residence of 
Governor Sevier, and also of Col. John Tipton, who, thongh 
at first a leader in the f^olt, had now become promt- 


Beat at the head of the old state party. These two, alike 
brave, ambitious and patriotic, and champions of their re- 
spective adherents, kept the people in a constant tumult, 
each, alternately, breaking in upon and interrupting the 
courts and jurisdiction of the other. The horrors of a fra- 
tricidal conflict seemed inevitable, and measures were adopt- 
ed by both parties to allay the agitation and restore quiet. 
General Rutherford had introduced before the Legislature of 
^orth-Carolina a measure of conciliation, that would have 
Jyeen acceptable to the malcontents beyond the mountaint 
tut it was- instantly rejected. The mission of General Cocke, 
«nd the pacific overtures of Judge Campbell, had been abor- 
"Cive and unsuccessful. As a dernier resort, negotiation was 
^tttempted, to reconcile the conflicts of interests and of feeling 
^etMreen the two states. Who should be the negotiator? An 
^>fficer of the old state ? The opposition to such an one, was 
^t one time a mere prejudice — it had now become a senti- 
Midetit of inappeasable malignity, and no offers of compromise 
om him could be for a moment entertained. Policy dicta- 
that he should be selected from the western people them- 
elves, and that he should b(5 one who, from his psist position, 
identified, in all his sympathies and interests, with the 
General Evan Shelby, high in the confidence of his 
ountrymen everywhere, remarkable for his probity, can- 
, good sense and patriotism, was requested by Gov. Cas- 
ell to take charge of this delicate negotiation ; and, in con- 
viction with others, whose assistance he solicited, met a 
mmission from the State of Franklin, on the 20rh day of 
larch, 1787, at the house of Samuel Smith. At this con- 
"•«nce Gov. Sevier represented his own government, aided 
such of its friends as he chose to invite. The result of 
?ir mutual efforts to accommodate existing difQculties, and 
jprevent the occurrence of those of greater magnitude, now 
stantiy apprehended, was given in the letter following. 
General Shelby to Governor Caswell : 


Sullivan County, March 21st, 1787, 
ir Sir : — ^Your letter, and the packets which you were pleased to 
'ard by your son, I have received, and the commissions to the several 
^^*^uties belonging have been forwarded, except those to the county of 


Gbreene, yet in my hands, not well knowing who to direct them t^ Thi 
proclamations have been disposed of accoidingly. I have held a confe* 
rence with Mr. John Se>ier, Governor of the Franklin people. Tlw 
enclosed is a copy of what was there concluded between him and mOb 
It is submitted to the .legislature. The people of Franklin have latdy 
held an Assembly for their state, and have passed a bill for opening m 
office for to receive entries for the lands included between French Broad 
and Tennessee Rivers. Also, they have laid a land and poll-tax on the p60> 
pie. Conformable to the commissions for thepeace sent np, comta of 
p^eas, d^c, have been held in the counties of Washington, Sullivan and 
Hawkins, without any opposition. Many people are firmly attached to 
Korth-Carolina ; others are as obstinate against it ; however, it is to bo 
hoped that time and reflection will restore them fnendly to North- 

The animosities arising from difference of opinion in govemmento 
among our people here, have run high. To quiet the minds of the 
people, and preserve peace and tranquillity till something better coold 
be done, was the reason that induced me to hold a corference and oon- 
dude on the articles enclosed. I would be much rejoiced vi( "JP"* 
mention, you wquld think, in earnest, to come and live among us. xoa 
might do much here. 


'* At a conference held at the house of Samuel Smith, EaqnirCy on ths 
20th day of March, 1787, between the Honourable Evan Shelby, 
Esquire, and sundry officers, of the one part, and the Honourable Jomi 
Sevier and sundry officers, of the other part Whereas, disputes haTO 
arisen concerning the propriety and legality of the State of Franklini 
and the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the State of North-Carolina ofor 
the said state and the people residing therein. 

'^ The contending parties, from the regard they have to peace, tran- 
quillity and good decorum in the Western country, do agree and recom- 
mend as follows : 

^ First That the courts of justice do not proceed to transact any busi- 
ness in their judicial departments, except the trial of criminaJs, the 
proving of wills, deeds, bills of sale, and such like conveyances ; the 
issuing of attachments, writs and any legal process, so as to procore 
bail, but not to enter into final determinations of the suits, except the 
parties are mutually agreed tliereto. 

'^ Secondly. That the inhabitants residing within the limits of the dis- 
puted territory are at full liberty and discretion to pay their public taxes 
to either the State of North-Carolina or the State of Frankhn. 

'* Thirdly. That this agreement and recommendation continue until the 
next annual sitting of the General Assembly of North-Carolina, to be 
held in November next, and not longer. It is further agreed, that if 
any person, guilty of felony, be committed by any North Carolina jus- 
tice of the peace, that such person or persons may and shall be received 
by the Franklin sheriff or gaoler of Washington, and proceeded against 
in the same manner as if the same had been committed by axjd from any 
such authority from under the State of Franklin. It is also recom- 
mended, that the aforesaid people do take such modes and regoIatioDi^ 


and set forth their grievances, if any thej have, and solicit Norih-Caro- 
lina, at their next annual meeting of the General Assemhiy, for to 
complete the separation, if thought necessary by the people of the 
Western country, as to them may appear most expedient, and give their 
manbcrs and representatives such instructions as may be thought most 
conducive to the interest of our Western World, 'by a majority of the 
same, either to be a separate state from that of North-Oarolina, or be 
citizens of the State of North-Carolina. 

^ Signed and agreed, on behalf of each party, this day and year above 
written. Evan Shelbt, 

JoHH Sevier.'* 

A temporary quiet succeeded this compromise, and the peo- 
( pie having the right of paying their taxes, and of owing 
( allegiance to either of the rival governments, at their 
own option, the jurisdiction of both was for a time co-ordi- 
nate. No better proof need be adduced that the inhabitants 
of the disaffected country were law-abiding, honest, just, and 
peaceable, than their demeanour under this unwonted condi- 
tion of questionable allegiance. Anywhere else, anarchy, 
misrule, tumult and violence, would have followed. Preva- 
lent sentiment was, amongst these primitive people, essen- 
tially the law, and had the validity and force of legislative 
authority. Popular opinion was radically sound. It was in 
favour of right and justice. The people bowed to its supre- 
macy, and paid allegiance to its mandates. They needed no 
other tribunal. 

Still, a wound had been inflicted upon the dignity of the 
state, aird there were not wanting men in the coun- 
% willing to appease her wrath, and make an atonement 
the indignity and injury she had received. These, findtmg 
lit with and condemning the acts of the new state, re- 
jrted its wrong doings to Governor Caswell. They were 
ol ^^.morous about trespasses committed upon Cherokee terri- 
r, by the intruding ** Franklinites," and foreboded what 
Jly took place, a renewal of Indian aggression upon the 
v^'^tiements, if these were not restrained. Such is the im- 
•t pf the letter following : 

Chota, 26th March, 1787. ' 
ir : — At mv arrival in this place, I found the Indians in greater 
ion than I had ever seen before, owing in part to Colonel John Lo- 
.^8 expedition against them, together wiUi daily encroachments of the 


FnnkUntoiM on their lands. They hate aotmlly opened a land oflioe 
for ttrery acre of land that the Legislatore of ifortn-Carolina ceded Iv 
tbam north of the Tenm^Mee, which indudeA several of their principal 
cornfields, and a part of their heloved town, Ghota, and the wbole^ towa 
of Bial, and are now settling on the banks of the river*. I thk ^kj 
finished a Talk with the Indians, a copy of which I enclose to your Bx^ 
osllency. Three letters havjo latel? been brought to the diflerent_toi 
and read, from the French at the Muscle Shoals, which inform the ~ 
that the English* French and Spanish, have actually joined to cany 
a war against America; that the Americans have stopped their trad^ 
from Detroit, by seizing several of their boats on the Missif«ippi ; f*^ ^ 
they will not undertake to fnmish them in future with anything ^^ 

Kina, knives, tomahawks, and ammunition ; of these articles th^ ahaK ^^^ 
ve plenty. Various are the conjectures of the traders reapectin^i 
war with the Cherokees. My opinion is, there will be a great deal 
mischief done, if not an open war, unless the Franklinitea can be 
moved off their land ; which, I am well assured, cannot be done wif 
an armed force. 

Another writer, nnder date March 26th, of this year, i 
forma the governor, *' Politics in this part of the couu 
ma high. Vou hear in almost every collection of peo 
frequent declarations of hurrah for North-Carolina I 
others in the same manner for the State of Franklin.^ ** Th^ 
Franklin Assembly have passed their act to punish, 
imprisonment, any person that shall act in the commissi 
of justice of the peace or other civil office, under the 
sumed authority of North-Carolina. God only knows w 
this contention will end. I fear it will end in blood." 

Governor Caswell received another letter of still more pb 
tentous import, from an accredited agent, who had been sen 
to spy out the real cqndition of affairs in his trans-montane 
territory. In his tour of observation, he seems to have de- 
tected not only infidelity on the part of the people of Frank- 
lin to North-Carolina, but " a tendency to dissolve the federal 
bands." He is the first to advise " the interference of go- 
vernment" to suppress the insurgents. 

Col. Hutohings to Gov. Caswell : 

Hawkins Countt, the Ist April, 1787. 
iSir : — I received your Excellency's letter of the 27th Feb., 1787, with 
the enclosed papers and others forwarded ; and in compliance with the 
contents, I give you a statement of the proceedings in this quarter, as 
you signified a desire to know how the laws and a return to tlie old go- 
vernment set on the minds of the people. I find in tlie county of Greene 
the people are much divided. In the other three counties, about two- 


thirds are ranch pleased with the laws and a return to the old govem- 
xuent. The comniissions and appointments are generally received. The 
people on the Indian hunting grounds, I \ca,tn, are very obstinate, and I 
suppoee will pay little or no resf)ect to your Excellency's proclamation 
for^eir removal The Franklin party yet persist, and seems to impede 
tbft progress of civilization and retard the operation of the most salutary 
laws. They have lately held an Assembly and passed several acts, and 
seem vigorous in executing them. They have opened an office for the 
lands south of French Broad to the banks of Tennessee River. The 
land is to be sold at forty shillings per hundred acres, the first ten 
shillings in hand, and two years credit for the other thirty shillings. 
This unites the inhabitants of those lands to their party ; and in order 
to frighten others into a compliance with them, the Assembly have 
p a ss ed an act to fine and imprison any person who shall dare to act 
under the authority of North-Carolina : — for the first offence five pounds ; 
a second offence, ten pounds and a year's imprisonment ; and the governor 
at bis discretion to summon a guard over them, which guard are to be 
pud out of the property of the offender. They have also empowered 
the governor to raise the militia to oppose the operation of the laws of 
Nortn-Carolina, who are now enlisting and giving four hundred acres of 
land bounty. This is under a colour of guarding the frontiers. Should 
tbej offer any insult to the civil authority, I expect it will be difficult to 
prevent an effusion of blood. I think your Excellency will readily see the 
necessity of the interference of government ; and unle^^ those people are 
entitled to exclusive and separate emoluments from the rest of the com- 
manltj, they ought, certainly, to be quelled. If we are in our allegiance, 
protection ought to be reciprocal. I, therefore, give it as my opinion, 
that it is highly necessary that notice should be taken of the conduct of 
thdee people, as there are many plans and matters agitated by them, 
ir|iieh seem to have a tendency to dissolve even the federal bands. Seve- 
ral letters I have in my possession, which can be spoken of no other 
"•ay- A few lines from your Excellency, with your advice how to conduct 
ffSiyself in this unhappy dilemma, would be most thankfully received. 

The Governor of North-Carolina thought proper, after the 
B^ournment of its legislature, to communicate directly to 
?ov. Sevier, the proceedings of that body in reference to the 
B^Volters. It follows : 

KiNSTON, 23d February, 1787. 

S'ir: — T was favoured with your letter of the 28th of October, on the 

* ect of a separate and independent government on your side of the 

lachian, which 1 did myself the honour of laying before the Gene- 

-Assembly. Their resolutions and determinations on that subj^'ct, I 

I flattered myself it would be in my power to have forwarded you 

,ies of, by this time. It must, therefore, suffice, that I acquaint you 

2' the present, that the Assembly, from the representation of persons 

^J*0 among yourselve**, was induced to believe it was proper for the peo- 

P^ to return to subjection to the laws and government of North-Caro- 

^"'^ ; that they are not yet of strength and opulence sufficient to sup- 


n>rt an independent state ; that they, the Aasemblj, wish to 

&e benefits and protection of the state towards them, nntil such tii 

as their numbers and wealth will enable them to do for themadva^iK^ 

when they, the Assembly, are free to say, a separation may take 

In the meantime, the most friendly intercourse between the citi» 

1]ie eastern and western waters, ib strongly recommended; and as 

people westward of the Apalachian have received no benefit firom 

temment for the two years last past, they are willing to exempt tl 

fiom the payment of the public taxes. 

Thus, sir, you have in substandB, as fiw as I recollect, the amount < ^ ^ 
the proceedings of the Assembly, save the appointment of dvil an*— Btna 
mi^tary officers for the three old and a new couDty ; the brigade to Idi" ^ 
commanded by Evan Shelby, Esq. In the civil department, Indfl^p.^^^ 
Campbell is re-appointed; and the representatives carried out commK^-^^ 
sions fbr the county officers, civil and militair. I have not a doubt| In:^"^^^^ 
a new government may be shortly established, if the people wonlK^^^ 
unite, submit to the former government, and petition for a aeparatio^'^— ^'^^ 
This, I think, is the only constitutional mode, and I firmly believe, _^ 

pursued, will be a means of eflfecting the separation on friendly 
which I much wish ; and I cannot say but I have my own satia 
in view, as I expect, if life and health and strength last, to lay _ 
boW on the weSstem waters. Twelve months will bring about a 
lease to me from public employment, and it is my intention then to 
that country once more ; and if I can find a place, to secure an agree- 
piivate retreat for the remainder of my life, I mean to establish it 
the place'of my residence. I wish you and your friends to connder th^^^^f 
propriety of these measures, and if you Uunk proper to adopt then 
you will, I think, answer your views with respect to a new government 
and come a shorter way to obtain the same, than by divisions amon(^ 
yourselves ; for theie will be greater obstructions in your way thap thos^ 
occasioned by the mere opinion of the people here. These are my candid^ 
sentiments. I may be mistaken, but time will evince the propriety oi 
otherwise, of my observations. 

In answer to this communication, the Governor of* Frank- 
lin writes, under date, 

JovBSBORo', 6th April, 1787. 

Sir : — I was favoured with yours of 23d February, in which your 
Excellency was pleased to favour me with a detail of the proceedings of 
your Assembly. I must own, before their rising, I had the fullest hopes 
and confidence, that body would have either agreed to the separation, on 
honourable principles and stipulations, or otherwise endeavoured to have 
re-united us upon such terms as might have been lasting and friendly, 
but I find myself and country entirely deceived.; and if your Assembly 
have thought their measures would answer such an end, they are equalli 
disappointed. But I firmly believe, had proper measures been adopt 
an union, in some measure, or perhaps fully, would have taken pU 
We shall continue to act as independent, and would rather suffer deatK 
in all its various and firightful shapes, than conform to any thing that ^ ^ 


The firm and decisive tone of this letter, was in accord- 
ance with the. present teniper of Sevier and his adherents. 
The compromise entered into between the contracting par- 
tie^ March 20th, was found to be, in some of the count ies^ of 
little avail. "It is agreed and recommended," were terms 
sufficiently explicit and strong to be obligatory on the masses, 
and their "regard to peace, tranquillity and good decorum," 
led them to respect the provisions of the agreement. But 
in Washington, Sullivan and Hawkins, where the recent act 
of North-Carolina had vacated certain of the ofBces, and 
commissions under her authority had been accepted and 
acted under, a spirit of faction and discontent developed 
itself. The ins and the outs, as is sometimes seen in more 
modern times, quarrelled. A question arose as to the pow- 
ers of those who had negotiated the late ** agreement and 
recommendation." By common consent, the ofBce holders 
considered them invalid and irregular. The truce was ended. 
Gov. Sevier determined that he and the other ofBcers of 
JVanklin would " act as independent." 

To Gov. Sevier's letter. Gov. Caswell replied, in a very 
^HLendiy and conciliatory spirit, under date, 

KiNBTON, April 24th, 1787. 
^Jhar Sir : — I had the honour to receive your letters by Mr. Meek. 
lonot account for the conduct of our Assembly in their last' session, 
some of the gentlemen's sentiments did not coincide Avith my 
but still think if the people on your side the mountain bad then 
n more unanimous, the measures of a separation on just and 
ourable principles would have been pursued ; and if it were possible 
"tte people amongst you to prevail upon themselves to apply by suffi- 
*t number, to give convincing proofs of far the greater part of the 
^™<>le being desiious of establishing a new government upon such prin- 
tbe same may yet be effected. If the violences of the passions of 
men among you are not restrained, if they are suffered to break 
it will be Y'Utting the day further off; and, perhaps, the separation 
not be effected without bloodshed. This, I am sure, neither you nor 
^ ^ other man capable of reflection, would wish to see brought about, 
'*• *^ can be evaded by justifiable means. 
^ x on may rely upon it that my sentiments are clearly in favour of a 
••iHiTation, whenever the people to be separated think themselves of 
^^Bcient strength and abilities to support a government This separa- 
^'^ to be established upon reasonable, honourable, equitable and just 
^''•dpleB, reciprocally so to those who will still continue the old go- 
^"••iiment, as well as those who are to form the new. My ideas are that 


nature, in this formation of the bills between is, and directiiig tk 
courses of waters so differently, bad not in view the inhabitiinti ot 
either side being longer siibj^'Otto the same laws and government; that 
it mijL^bt )>e convenient for them, aa she has liberally bestowed on tlie 
minds of thinking men wishes to enjoy and obtain for themselves, W 
others in their circunistances, equal benefits, privileges and immomtia 
with the rest of mankind. 

I conclude, by rvHiommending unanimity among you, as the only 
means by which your government ever can obtain energy, evenwlMi 
the st*])aration is effected by consent of North Carolina. 

General Shelby, the other diplomatist, proposed, in the 
meanwhile, to the government he represented, the adopticm 

of more energetic and efficient measures. 

SuLLfVAN CouNTT, May 4thy 1787. 
Sir .—The 27th of April past, I called the colonels (via : TiptOB, 
Maxwell and Ilutchings) of Washington, Sullivan and Hawkins ooun- 
ties, in order to consult on some measures which might be most salutaij 
for the safety of this country nt the present time. The gentlemen meti 
accordingly, at my house, and several gave it as their opinion that I 
should address government in the following manner : As the safety snd 
well l)ein</ of government arc now at hazjird, and the liberties and pn^- 
perties of the goixl citizens thereof wrested from them by parties of fac- 
tion, notwithstanding the lenient and conciliatory measures of tfaa 
General Assembly, by a call of the commanding officers of the several 
counties, and sundry complaints from individuals and the enclosed copies 
of letters, it was thought proper to advise with your Excellency on the 
occasion, and send a just statement of the proceedings. The Assembly 
of Franklin being called, have pa<s<»d and ratified the following acta : 
They have opened an office for the lands reserved for the Indians, from 
Frencii Broad River to the Tennessee River ; also, an act 6ning and im- 
prisoning any person who shall dare act under the authority of tlie State 
of North-Carolina, under which act they |)roceed with the greatest rig- 
our, hcatintr and imprisonini:, and s»Mzing the pro[)erty by men in arras. 
By a third act, in order t^> complete their desiijns and draw a party to their 
interest, they have laid their taxes one shilling the poll and sixpence 
per hundred acres of land, afu»r the collection of which they give three 
years Ux free. These methods, with many others, such as appointing 
officei*s to carry into execution their treasonable acts and designs, a total 
subvei*sion of all laws and good government, even every sense of civilisa- 
tion, are lost among them. 1 have, therefore, thought it expedient U> 
call upon you for your immediate assistance, having the faith and honour 
of the Leirislature of North-Carolina [)ledged to us, that we shall remain 
secure in our liberties and pro|>erties. The matter is truly alarming, and it 
is beyond a doubt with me that hostilities will in a short time commence^ 
and without the interference of government without delay, an effusion df 
blood must take place. I, therefore, think it highlv necessary that one 
thousand troops, at least, be sent, as that numl)er might have a good 
effect ; for should we have that number under the sanction of govern- 


ment, there is no doubt with me they would immediately give way, 
aod would not appear in so unprovoked an insurrection. On the con- 
trary, should a faint and feeble resistance l>e made, the couHequenee 
night be very fatal, and would tend to devastation, ruin and distress. 
Should your Excellency think it convenient to call on the commonwealth 
of Virginia, I have reasons to believe we might meet with their aid, as 
tbey have fi>ur counties nearly bordering on us, and would be the most 
speedy assfttance we could come at, in case your troo))s do not reach us 
in time to relieve us. I think it highly necessary that a quantity of 
Ammunition be forwarded to us, as it is very scarce in this country. Thus, 
sir, you have before you the result of my conference with the aforemen- 
tioned colonels ; it is plain where the measure therein adxised, if adopted, 
will end. The matter is entirely referred to government, and 1 hope 
•omething may be done and some measure adopted, to put a final end 
to the present unhappy disturbances. The officers iu Greene county 
hsve all engaged in tlie new state aifair, and have, therefore, refused to 
reoeive their commissions. There is scarcely any money in the country. 
I liATe been obliged to fit out this express with horse and cash to bear 
him down. It is to be expected your Excellency will procure some money 
to besr his expenses home again. Your Excellency will perceive, by 
oomparinff the enclosed in my last letter with this, that* the {>eople of 
Franklin have not assented to the agreemenjt which was entered into 
with their governor, for the preservation of peace and good order in this 
oosntry. Not many men are here engaged in vindicating the authority of 
Nortb-Carolina. They have hitherto behaved with that coolnens and 
prodence which ever ought to characterize good subjects, assured of 
their safety under the government they are in ; at the same time, con- 
-viooed that allegiance and protection are reciprocal, they expect to enjoy 
the 011640 they have yielded the other. 

Among the papers enclosed by General Shelby to the 
verifor of North-Carolina, was a letter to himself from 
. Hutchings, of Hawkins county, of April 22d, in which, 
ij>eaking of the officers of the new state, he says: 

They have, among them, a Major Elholm, from Geor/iinAi ^ho, I am 
libnned, is a great advocate for their cause ; also, a Major Jones, who 
firoiD Virginia. They advise Cromw^-lTs j)oIicy to be adopted, Mr. 
threatening confiscation and banishment. That the geutle- 
h^e not been very candid, this Major Donelson will give you a 
further account of. Cocke's party are getting very insolent. 1 ex|>ect, 
a a few days, I shall be obliged to try his boasted number. I am ma- 
-^Tlg the necessary preparations, and cannot doubt Huccess if they have 
vt aiustance from Greene county. I have more than five their number 

Col. Anthony Bledsoe, at the time a citizen of Davidson 
^^^Hinty, and of great personal influence and weight of cha- 
itf aided, by bis presence in the disaffected counties, in 


keeping down any violence or outbreak. He seconded the 
views of General Shelby, without being so specific as to the 
" decided part " he wished the government of North-Caro- 
lina to act. His letter follows : 

SuLLivAK County, May 4th, 1787. 
Dear Sir : — When I last addressed your Excellency, I little expected 
to have dated a second from the same place. I have stayed long enoaghin 
this part of the country to see the appearance of the long-dreaded con- 
fusion — long enough to see and hear the measures of the last session 
of Ihe General Assembly treated with the greatest contempt. I have 
always been of opinion that, without the greatest prudence, it was to 
end in blood, and am now further convinced that, without government 
acts a decided part, hostilities will shortly commence. Might I be per- 
mitted to request your Excellency's addressing these people, and advi- 
sing them of the necessity and advantage of returning to their duty <Hioe 
more, and the danger and evil consequences of their persisting in the 
attempt of their supporting an independence ? I do assure your Excel- 
lency, that it is my opinion, your address on that occasion would have a 
very good effect on the principal people in the revolted party. I judge 
this will accompany a letter from General Shelby addressed particuhiny 
on* this subject. 

To his suggestions of maintaining the authority of North- 
Carolina by an armed force, Governor Caswell replies to 
General Shdby, under date, 

KiNSTON, May 21st, 1787. 

Sir: — Your letter of the 4th current, came to my hands the 19th. I 
stated the situation of your country to the Council, and laid your letter 
and every other information I possessed respecting the same, before 
them for advice ; the result of their deliberations, I have the honour oC 
enclosinnr you a copy of; they may not answer your expectations, but ^ 
hope will prove satisfactory, when I inform you upon what princip^* 
they acted. 

They think it would be very imprudent to add to the dissatisfaction. ^ 
the people there, by showing a wish to encourage the shedding of h\oO ^X 
as thereby, a civil war would be eventually brought on, which ought at ^ 
times to be avoided, if possible ; but more especially at the present, ^ 
we have great reason to apprehend a general Indian war. If ^^ y 
northern and southern tribes should unite with your Cherokee nei^^ ' 
hours, you will^tand in need, they think, of all your force; and the^^^Tl 
fore recommend unanimity amongst you, if it can by any means 
effected ; as you thereby will be much more able to defend yourselvi 
than yoii possibly can be when divided ; let alone the circumstances 
cutting each other's throats. Besides these, it would be impracticable 
raise an armed force here, to be sent to your a««sistiince at this time, 
we were ever so much disposed thereto, for the following reasons : Tl 
people in general, are now engaged in their farming business, and 
brought out, would very reluctantly march; there is no money in tl 


treasnry to defray the expenses of such as ixiight be called out ; nor, in 
feet, have wo arms or ammunition ; that, under such circumstances, it 
would be necessary to attempt it. 

I must, therefore, recommend to you, the using every means in your 
power to conciliate the minds of the people, as well as those who call 
themselves Franklinites, as the friends and supjjorters of government. 
If things could be dormant, as it were, till the next Assembly, and each 
man's mind be employed in considering your common defence against 
the savage enemy, I should suppose it best, and wherever unanimity 
prevails among your people, and their strength and numbers will jus- 
tify, an application for a separation ; if it is general, I have no doubt 
of its taking place upon reciprocal and friendly terms. 

I have written a letter to the inhabitants of the counties of Washing- 
ton, SulHvan, Greene and Ilawkins, stating matters in such a point of 
view, as the opinion of the Council ; a copy of which I have the honour 
to enclose you. Your express aleo carries a letter for the commanding 
officer of each of the counties, which you will be pleased to forward 
to them. 

Accompanying this letter, Governor Caswell also for- 
warded, through General Shelby, the following address : 

To the Inhabitants of the counties of Washington, SuUivan, Greene and 

Hawkins : 

.Friends and Fellow- Citizens:-^! have received information that the 
former contention between the citizens of those counties^ respecting the 
aevering such counties from this state, and erecting them into a separate, 
fr^ and independent government, hath been again raised, notwith- 
atandiDg the lenient and salutary measures held out to them by the 
General Assembly in their last session ; and some have been so far mis- 
led, as openly and avowedly to oppose the due operation and 
execution of the laws of the state, menacing such as should ad- 
here to the same, with violence ; and some outrages on such occasions, 
have been actually committed, whereby sundry of the good citizens of 
the said counties have been induced to signify to government their ap- 
prehension of being obliged to have recourse to Ytrms, in order to sup- 
Citi the laws and constitution of this state. And notwithstanding the 
haviour of some of the refractory might justify such a measure, yet 
I am willing to hope, that upon reflection and due consideration of the 
consequences which must ensue in case of the shedding of blood among 

Snrselves, a moment's thought must evince the necessity of mutual 
endship and the tics of brotherly love being strongly cemented among 
joo. You have, or shortly will have, if my information is well-grounded, 
enemies to deal with, which will require this cement to bo more strong 
than ever ; your whole force may become necessary to be exerted against 
ihe common enemy, as it is more than probable they may be assisted 
ly the subjects of some foreign power ; if not publicly, they will fur- 
anh arms and ammunition privately to the Indian tribes, to be made use of 
against you ; and when your neighbours are so supported and assisted 


by the northern and southern Indians, if you should he ao vnhappj 
as to be divided among yourselves, what may yoa not then apprebcnd 
and dread ? Let me entreat you to lay aside your party disputes ; they 
have been, as I conceive and yet believe will be, if continued, of very 
great disadvantage to your public as well as private concerns. 'Whikt 
these disputes last, government will want that energy which is neeo- 
sary to support her laws and civili^ ; in place of which, anarchy aid 
confusion will be prevalent, and, of course, private interest must snfik. 

It certainly would be sound policy in you, for other reasons, to anita. 
The General Assembly have told you, whenever your wealth and dqiii- 
bers so much increase as to make a separation necessary, they will be 
willing the same shall take place upon friendly and reciprocal terms, h 
there an individual in your country who does not look forward, in eipee- 
tation, of such a day's arriving ? If that is the case, must not eyerj 
thinking man believe, that this separation will be soonest and rooit 
effectually obtained by unanimity ? Let that carry you to the quiet 
submission to the laws of North-Carolina, till your nnmbers will justify 
A general application ; and then, I have no doubt^ but the same may be 
obtained upon the principl«*s held out by the Assembly ; naj, it is my 
opinion that it may be obtained at an earlier day than some imagine, if 
unanimity prevailed amongst you. 

Altliough this is an official letter, you will readily see that it is dicta- 
ted by a friendly and pacific mind. Don't neelect my advice on thit 
account ; if you do, you may repent it when it is too late ; when the 
• blood of some of your dearest and worthiest citizens may have been 
spilt, and your country laid waste in an unnatural and cruel civil war; 
and you cannot suppose if such an event should take place, that gih 
vernment will supinely look on, and see you cutting each other's throa^ 
without interfering, and exerting her powers to reduce the disobedient 
I will conclude by once more entreating you to consider the dreadful 
calamities and consequences of a civil war. Humanity demands this of 
me ; your own good sense will point out the propriety of it; at least, 
let all animosities and disputes subside till the next Assembly ; even let 
things rem<iin as they are, without pursuing compulsory measures until 
then, and I flatter myself that honourable body will be disposed to do 
what is just and right, aud what sound policy may dictate. 

Nothing yet had occurred in the transactions between 
Franklin and North-Carolina so well calculated to heal the 
breach, and efTect a reconciliation between them, as this 
letter of Gov. Caswell, and the action of the North-Carolina 


Legislature communicated in it. The origin and cause of 
the separation, at the time it occurred, was the Cession Act 
That had been repealed. The great object of the secessionists 
now, was independence of North-Carolina, so as to avoid a 
re-enactment of the repealed law. The apprehension of 
that objectionable and iuadmissable policy was removed in 


minds of some of the earliest and most steadfa43t friends 
Pranklin by the assurances of the Governor and Legisla- 
D of North-Carolina, that, at the proper time, a new state 
•aid be formed, and their cherished wishes for indepen- 
ice should be gratified, if the malcontents would return 
lieir allegiance. The argument was forcible — to many 
feetly satisfactory and irresistible. It inflicted a vital 
l> npon the new government, which, within the next year, 
ised its dissolution. 


The Irish Bottom began to be settled. George McNutt 

B one of the earliest emigrants. His daughter, , 

irwards the wife of Col. McFarland, and still living 

Jefferson county, was the first white child born south of 
inch Broad. Nancy Rogers, . daughter of Jonah Rogers 
B the second. 
Lfker the treaty of Dumplin, great facilities existed for 

i occupying the country acquired under it, south of 
French Broad and Holston, and the stream of emi- 
iion was principally directed in that channel. From 
nry's Station, at the mouth of Dumplin, the emigrants 
Med the river, settling along Boyd's Creek Valley, where 
Ganghy's, NewelVs and other stations were formed. 
By soon crossed the ridge dividing that stream from Elijah, 
I formed a station, M cTeer^s, still in the occupancy of a 
oendant of the same name, William McTeer, Esq. It 
n became the nucleus of an excellent neighbourhood of 
dligent, worthy and patriotic citizens— emigrants princi- 
ly from the valley of Virginia, who brought with, and 
ued around them, republicanism, religion, intelligence 
I thrift. They were, for several j'ears, annoyed and ba- 
sed by Cherokee incursions. The proximity of their set- 
nent to the fastnesses of the adjoining mountains, made it 
lewary, constantly, to guard their frontier. While one 
rked in the field, another acted as a scout or a sentinel. 
By were often driven into stations, and twice had to leave 
ir farms and cabins, and fall back, for a short time, upon 
older settlements. But gaining, year after year, addition- 

rtffength by new emigrations, they gradually extended the 

870 sTATumi » uvlim avd blouiit oomrrm. 

setdemeiits down the valley of Elijah and Naill's Creek. 
Henry's^ McTeer's, McCallock's, Gillespie's^ Craig's, Kelley's, 
Houston's, Black's, Hunter's, Bartlett's, Kirk's, Ish's^and oth- 
ers, were, soon after, the neuclei of settlements. Daring the 
formation and defence of all these stations, a volume 'woold 
not contain the instances of Indian outrage and aggreasioa 
perpetrated against the property and lives of the inhabitants, 
nor the heroic and soldierly conduct of the brave frontier- 
men, in protecting themselves, repelling invasion, pursoing 
and chaiftising the savages, inflicting a just retaliation with 
vengeftal severity upon the cruel Cherokees, in their distant 
villages and the seclusions of the mountains. Bojrs became 
men—women turned soldiers — assisting in clefence of the 
family and the home. Vigilance and heroism, and fearless- 
ness and energy, characterized the entire population. Could 
a diagram be drawn, accurately designating every spot rig* 
nalized by an Indian massacre, surprise or depredation, or 
oourageous attack, defence, pursuit or victory by the whites^ 
or station, or fort, or battle-field, or personal encounter, the 
whole of that section of country would be studded over by- 
delineations of such incidents. Every spring, every ford,' 
every path, every farm, every trail, every house, nearly, in 
its first settlement, was once the scene of danger, exposure, 
attack, exploit, achievement, death. Some of these are 
given in their chronological order, elsewhere. A few other 
instances, culled from the whole, are here given : Houston's 
Station stood about six miles from Maryville, where Mr. 
Minnis has since lived. It was occupied by the families of 
James Houston, McGonnell, McEwen, Sloane and Henry. 
It was attacked by a party of Indians, one hundred in num- 
ber. They had, the day before, pursued the survivors of the 
Citico massacre, in the direction of Knoxville, many of 
whom they had killed. Elated with their preceding suc- 
cesses, they determined, on their return, to take and murder 
the feeble garrison at Houston's. A vigorous assault was 
made upon it. Hugh Barry, in looking over the bastion, 
incautiously exposed his head to the aim of an Indian rifie. 
He fell, within the station, fatally wounded, having received 
a bullet in his forehead. The Indians were emboldened by 
this success, and prolonged the conflict more than half an 


hour. The garrison had some of the best rifleman in the 
country within it, and, observing the number and activity of 
the assailants, they loaded and discharged their guns with all 
possible rapidity. The women assisted them as far as they 
were able. One of them, Mrs. McEwen, mother of R. H. 
McEwen, Esq., of Nashville, and since the wife of the 
Senior S. Doak, D.D., displayed great equanimity and hero- 
ism. She inquired for the bullet moulds, and was engaged, 
busily, in melting the lead and running bullets for diiSerent 
guns. A bullet from without, passing through the inter- 
stice between two logs of the station, struck the wall near 
her, and rebounding, rolled upon the floor. Snatching it 
up, and melting and moulding it quickly, she carried it to 
her husband and said : ^^ Here is a ball run out of the In- 
dians' lead ; send it back io them as quick as possible. It is 
their own ; let them have it in welcome." 

Simultaneously with the extension of the settlement of the 
country south of French Broad, after the Franklin Treaty 
at Dumplin, was its expansion north of that stream and on 
Holston. Adam Meek made the first settlement on the head 
of Beaver Creek, at the place in the Quaker Valley now 
owned by John Bales, Sen. Mr. Meek had no neighbour 
ivest of him, and so sparse were the settlers on the east, that 
at first he procured meal from the neighbourhood of Greene- 

Mr. Meek was a surveyor, an emigrant from Mecklenburg 
eoanty* N. C, and had, as early as 1785, explored the coun- 
try and made surveys on the frontier. Like most other pio- 
neers, Mr. Meek built his first cabin of round poles. This 
he covered with bark and grass, which, for the first year, 
sheltered his family. During the Indian alarms, the family 
frequently retired, at evening, to a deep sink, three-quarters 
of a mile from their cabin, and there spent the night. A fort 
or station was, at a later period, formed at the Strawberry 
Plains, now the residence of Rev. Thomas Stringfield. In 
this station the settlers collected together for mutual protec- 
tion and defence. It soon became the centre of an enter- 
prising, respectable and intelligent population, and there is 
stillf one of the most flourishing and enlightened neighbour- 

372 oillaim's station erectbd. 

hoods in the country — distinguished for its Institutions of 
learning, its churches, its thrift and general prosperity. 

Lands had been entered and surveyed, and grants issued 
for them, in what is now Knox and Grainger counties. The 
.current of population followed the vallies, and here and 
there along the valley south of Clinch Mountain, could be 
seen springing up in the forests, at the head of Flat Creek, 
Bull Run and Peaver Creek, the humble cabin of the back- 
woodsman. In the fork between Holston and French Broad, 
new settlers began their clearings. Henry's Station, at 
Dumplin, ceased to be the last post north of the river. A 
little colony from it crossed Bay's Mountain, and formed 
what was known as Greene's, afterwards Manifold's, Station* 
Near it, Gibson, Beard, Bowman and Cozby settled, and with, 
them came James White, afterwards the proprietor of Knox-- 
ville. He first pitched his tent four miles above the mouths 
of French Broad, and on its north bank, near the presents 
residence of John Campbell, Esq. His early compatriots^ 
Greene and Cozby, settled soon after near him, but on th&- 
opposite side of the river. Captain Thomas Gillespie set- 
tled three miles below, on the north side of the river. The 
ruins of his house are still seen. It stood near the present 
residence of Mr. James Hufacre. A little later came Jere- 
miah Jack, Esq., and settled the second plantation above the 
mouth of French Broad. 

Robert Armstrong planted corn and raised a crop, this 
1787 5 year, on the plantation which, next year, he settled 
I on Holston, a little above the mouth of Swan Pond 
Creek. Mr. Devereaux Gillaim, at the same time, occupied 
the plantation embracing the point between French Broad 
and Hplston. His first cabin stood east of the dwelling house 
of the present proprietor, between it and the church. 

Archibald Rhea, Sen., settled immediately opposite, on the 
south bank of French Broad. Alexander McMillan settled 
the place now occupied by Rev. Thomas Stringfield, then, as 
now, known as Strawberry Plains, and soon after removed 
to the farm on which he died, four miles above Armstrong's 
Ferry, on the present New Market Road. 

The settlements between the rivers were less annoyed by 

MRS. Gillespie's presence of mind. 873 

the Indians, than those south or north of them. Almost in- 
sulated by the rivers, the intervention of these large streams 
furnished to the inhabitants some immunity from invasion. 
On one occasion, however, some armed warriors crossed the 
river, and presented themselves at the door of Captain Gil- 
lespie's cabin. The captain had, the day before, been clear- 
ing in the island and burning brush, and the fires were still 
burning there, in view of the house. He had left home 
early that morning, on his way to Dumplin, twelve miles ojflT. 
The Indians, finding Mrs. Gillespie unprotected, entered the 
honscy and one of them taking out a scalping knife, drew it 
across his bare arm, as if sharpening it He then went to a 
eradle, in which an infant lay asleep, and indicated with his 
finger a line around its head, along which he intended to 
apply the knife in scalping it. The other Indians looked on 
with savage ferocity. The heroic mother, with surprising 
presence of mind, sprang to the door, and, looking in the 
direction of the clearing, exclaimed, in a loud voice, ** White 
men, come home ! come home, white men ! Iftdians I Indians!" 
The warriors, disconcerted by her well contrived stratagem 
and her well timed equanimity, precipitately led the house* 
dashed down the hill towards the spring, and disappeared in 
the cane-brake. Mrs. G. bearing her child in her arms, es- 
caped in the opposite direction, and in sight of the path 
along which her husband would return. She had gone 
several miles in anxious apprehension of the murderous pursuit 
of the warriors, when she met the captain. He guessed the 
cause of their unexpected meeting, took the mother and 
the child upon his horse, carried them hastily back to Mani- 
ibld's; leaving them there, he reinforced himself with three 
men, and returned in haste to his house. The savages had 
plondered it of its contents, and while some were carrying 
off the spoils, one was busily engaged in setting fire to the 
house. He was fired upon by Captain G., who had outrode 
Qie other horsemen, and shot without dismounting. The In- 
3ian was partly obscured by the smoke of the fire he was 
Idndling, and escaped. The other men came up, the property 
eras recaptured and the Indians were driven across the river. 
Two of them were wounded in crossing, at the mouth of 
Burnett's branch. It was believed that the Indians came to 


Steal rather than to murder; indeed, this neighbonriiood 
suffered more by having their horses stolen, than by any other 
form of Indian aggression. On one occasion only, is it re- 
collected that the people generally went into a station. A 
sudden invasion of Little River settlement produced an alamib 
and the settlers temporarily forted at Gillaim^s ; the alam 
subsided, and the people returned to their plantations. 

The population accumulated rapidly ; being accessible by 
the two rivers, the neighbourhood received many families 
from the upper counties in boats and canoes. Amongst these 
were James Anderson, Moses Brooks and George McNutt, 
Esq., who removed from Chucky and settled on the north 
side of Holston, above Knoxville. James White, the year 
before, had moved from his first cabin in the Fork, and settled 
on what is since White's Creek. With Captain White, came 
his old neighbour from Iredell county, North-Carolina, and 
comrade in arms, James Conner, the worthy ancestor ofH. 
W. Conner, Esq., of Charleston, South-Carolina. These 
two were the first to disturb the virgin soil, on which the 
future Knoxville was to be built. Tradition says, that the 
lot on which the First Presbyterian church now stands, was 
the place first cleared by them. Pounded corn was the only 
bread the first settlers used. Their rifles, which had been 
used in the war of the Revolution, procured them meat 
Their cabin stood half a mile from the mouth of the creek, 
and on its west side, north of Mrs. Kennedy's orchard. This 
cabin afterwards constituted one corner of White's Fort ; 
Captain Crawford and others forted in it with him. A quad- 
rangular plat of ground, containing a quarter of an acre, 
was chosen, on each corner of which was a strong cabin, 
but of less imposing appearance than Mr. White's, which 
was two stories high. Between these comers, stockades 
were placed eight feet high, impenetrable to small arms, 
and having port-holes at convenient height and distance. 
A massive gate opened in the direction of the spring. 
White's Fort became the central point for emigrants, and 
the rendezvous for rangers and scouts. They were charmed 
with its beauties. In their short rambles around their en- 
campment, they noticed an elevated parallelogram, extend- 
ing south, and terminating with a bold front upon the HolstCML 


A creek of considerable size glided along its eastern, and 
another along its western base, from the banks of which 
gnshed forth, in close proximity, fountains of excellent water. 
It was noticed that the two streams furnished several eligi- 
ble sites for water power. The highest point of land between 
them, seemed designed by nature for a barrack or garrison. 
As then seen, the site of the future Knoxville was lovely in 
the extreme — almost entirely sheltered by the primitive forest, 
in its rich foliage, and having an air of enchanting coolness 
and rural retirement and seclusion — its quiet disturbed 
only by the playful murmurings of rivulets, formed by the 
several springs, and winding through their grassy borders Jn 
stillness to the creeks. Wooded hills and sylvan slopes com- 
pleted the picture of rural beauty^ The high land terminated 
abruptly towards the Holston, seen here and there through 
the tall trees, winding its way along the cane-brakes 
which lined its margib. Immediately opposite, was the Lit- 
tle Island, robed in green and almost submerged by the tur- 
bid stream. The southern shore presented, in one place 
lofty hills, resting upon a perpendicular cliff — in another, 
rising with a more gradual ascent to the ridge beyond. The 
whole country was carpeted with verdure and clothed with 
trees — dense woods surrounding you, with the solitude and 
silence of nature. These attractions, and the advantages of 
its position, had pointed out the place as the nucleus of a fu- 
ture settlement. Mr. White soon had other settlers as his 
neighbours. John Dearmond settled south of the river, near 
^<Jol. Churchwell's Ferry, and other emigrants came rapidly 
around White's Fort. A small tub-mill was erected by him. 
^The necessity for it was so urgent, that sit first he was forced to 
a very inferior stone for runners. These were still in 
at the time of the treaty in 1791. Amongst other emi- 
*ants, John Adair moved this year to his late residence in 
^nox county. He had been appointed Commissary under 
•^forth-Carolina, to furnish provisions for the Cumberland 
^jraards, and in the discharge of that trust, took his position on 
extreme frontier. Adair's Station was erected at the same 
e with White's, about five miles north of it. The country 
;an to be reached by wagons; set tiers were graduallv ex* 


tending themselves west, and in quick succession, Well*fl» Ben- 
nett's, Byrd's, Hackett's and Cavett's Stations, were formai 
Campbell's Station was settled by several emigrants of that 
name from Virginia, survivors of the gallant regiment whidi 
'had signalized itself at King's Mountain. Of these the 
principal one was Col. David Campbell, who has left the 
savour of a good name wherever he was known. He was 
the ancestoi^ of the present Governor of Tennessee, who has 
so well sustained the reputation of the Volunteer States m 
the late Mexican War. 

At first, each of these stations was a single cabin in the 
midst of a clearing. When Indian disturbances broke onti 
the inhabitants clustered together in the strongest one near 
them, and it then became a Station, They have all disap- 
peared, except Colonel Campbell's, which still exists as the 
east end of the present dwelling house of Mr. Martin. 

Jacob Kimberlin found lead, and furnished it to the inha- 
( bitants. It was found south of French Broad, not &r 
( from Gap Creek, on the farm now owned by Jere 
miah Johnson, Esq. 

Besides the Counties of Franklin, the S&te was also ar> 
ranged into Districts. Whether these were judicial or mili- 
tary, this writer has no means of determining. The only 
evidence he has been able to procure of this subdivision of 
Franklin, is furnished by the '' commission " of one of its 
Colonels, of Elholm District.* The original is before the 
writer, in the bold chirography of Governor Sevier. The 
seal of the state affixed to it, is a small wafer, covered with 
common paper. There was, in all probability, no other seal 
of state. 

Leaving here the chronological order of events in Frank- 
lin, we pause to review some transactions in its Foreign 
policy, which could not be so well introduced elsewhere. 

Georgia, desirous of extending her settlements to the rich 

**Elholm Dittrici was, doabtless, to called in honoar of Major Elholm. Id tiw 
district, at the tradition is, was embraced all the territory of FranUin^ below 
Washington conntj, tis: Greene, Caswell and Sevier counties. Washington 
Distriet probably embraoed Washington, SoUiran, Spencer and Wayne 
tiaa. * 


interior of the state, had established Houston county in that 
i P***^ ^^ ^^^ territory north of the Tennessee River, 
( and including the Great Bend of that stream, oppo- 
site the Muscle Shoals. The Commissioners appointed to 
organize the new county, held an adjourned meeting, July 
30, 1784. 

^'Present, Stephen Heard, Chairman ; John DonelsoD, Joseph Martin 
and John Sevier, Esqrs. 

**The Board resolved that John Sevier be appointed to receive locations 
and entries of lands, and that William Blount, Esq., Lachlin Mcintosh, 
John Morell, John Donelson, Stephen Heard, William Downs, John Se- 
vier, Charles Robertson, Joseph Martin and Valentine Sevier, junior, 
Esqrs., be appointed justices of the peace. 

••That John Sevier be recommended as Colonel, John Donelson, Lieut. 
Colonel, and Valentine Sevier, junior, I^ajor. John Donelson, Esq., was 
appointed Sar\'eyor, and Joseph Martin, Esq., recommended as Agent 
and Superintendent of Indian Afifairs. The Entry-taker is requested to 
attend and receive entries for claims of land, on the fifteenth day of 
March next, at or near the mouth of Elk River. 

'^The Board adjourned to the 15th March next, and then to meet at 
the mouth of Elk River. Stephen Heard, Chairman.'' 

It is not known that the Board ever assembled at the 
mouth of Elk. It is scarcely probable that they did as the 
military expedition which accompanied them, descended the 
Tennessee River no further than the point where it was in- 
tersected by the state line. The appearances of the Indians 
were so hostile, the Commissioners remained but a few days, 
and then withdrew. 

A further meeting of the Board took place 29th July, 
1785, when it was 

**'Re9olvedy That the application be made to the Governor and Council 
by William Downs and Thomas Napier, Esquires, Commissioners, or 
either of them, for their direction and approbation, to have ten tracts of 
hnd, containing ten thousand acres each, to be laid out in the bend of 
Tennessee, for public use." 

The Board met at Washington, July the 24th, 1787, and 

^ Took into consideration the state of the business, agreeable to a former 
ns<^ution of the General Assembly, and having certain accounts from 
the State of Franklin, and the settlements of the Cumberland and Ken- 
tucky, that a number of people from the aforesaid settlements are about 
to go into the District of Tennessee, to make settlements thereon. 

^^Resolved^ With leave of the Executive Council, that the business of 
tnnreying in said district, be immediately put into execution, agreeable 
tomBeBolve of the Assembly, of February, 1784." 


At the ensuing session of the Legislature of Frankliii, tte 
necessary provision was made to raise a force of monntdi 
riflemen, sufficient to succour Georgia and subdue the Cred 
Indians. We copy the act of the Franklin Assembly froB 
the original manuscript in the possession of this "writer. 

Whereas, it appears to this House, from a letter of the 87th d 
August, 1786, to his Excellency, Governor Sevier, from his Honoor, thi 
Gbveraor, Edward Telfair, of the 8tate of Georgia, with certain infiMmi' 
tion that the Creek Indians had declared ^ar against the white people, 
and had committed several murders on their frontier of late ; 'and tut 
in consequence of which, he had sent a Peace Talk to 'the natioa of b- 
dians, and that from the best accounts he could get, they intended ti 
make vigorous assaults on the white people, as soon as they had 
gathered their com ; and that the said state intends to carry on a vijgo- 
rous campaign ag^nstsaid India^,if they do not treat with said static 
and were to march by the first of November next: and ahK> by a kits 
from Colonel Joseph Martin, dated the first of October, instant^ with ev- 
tun accounts that the Creek Indians were laying in a large quantity of 
powder, for the purpose of carrying on the war, which was fbnushedlif 
the Spaniards ; and that they had spies in all the Cherokee towDS» and 
on our frontiers, and were making every preparation for war ; and han 
had also information from the Cherokee Indians, that the Creeks intended 
attacking our frontier, and were making outrageous threats agunst m 
daily. And whereas, it is the indispensable dutjr of the inhahstanti «f 
this state to euard against all dancers, and the uonfederation direetiaad 
empowers each state to defend itself against any enemy. 

Be it therefore Resolved hj this General Assembly, That each coun^ 
in this state, raise one-fourth of the militia of each county, who are here- 
by required to hold themselves in readiness, to march on horse to the 
firontiers of this state, at the shortest notice, to defend their own state, in 
case there should bo any attacks made on it by any enemy, or nation of 
Indians, when attacked by the State of Georgia, and that every six m«i 
furnish themselves with one pack-horse, and twenty days' provinofi 
each man. 

2. And be it further Resolved^ That there be officers appointed to 
command such men so raised, and that they all go as militia men, and 
to be paid as such, and all plunder taken in action from the enemy, shall 
be free plunder to the captors. 

3. That the light horse regiment of this state be immediately 
equipped, and made ready to march with the above draft. 

4. And be it further Resolved, That the Governor and Council hold 
a friendly correspondence with his Honour, the Governor of Georgia; 
and that they communicate to him our intentions, and that the men 
80 raised, and holding themselves ip readiness, march at th^ direc- 
tion, on the shortest notice, to the protection of our frontien. 

And it is Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor be directed to 
hold^the militia of this state in immediate readiness to march to the 
of the frontier, on the shortest notice. 


Besolvedy That the Governor, by and with the advice of his Gouncily 
is hereby empowered to call the Assembly to any part of the state he 
thinks right, to direct the movements of the army, now ordered out, in 
case he should find it necessary to march them out of the state. 


Jo. CoNWAr, C. S. Gilbert Christian, S. S. 

L Taylor, C. C. Henr. Conway, S. C. 

October 13th, 1786. 

As far as is now known, the manuscript from which the 
above is copied, is the only legislative enactment of the 
State of Franklin that has survived the ravages of time and 
accident. At that day, there was no printing press nearer 
than Richmond, Newbern or Charleston. The proceedings 
of Franklin were never printed, and for that reason it be- 
came necessary to revive a provision made under similar 
circumstances, many years before, in North-Carolina ; and 
that was, at the opening of the first session of the county 
courts, and at the first militia training or muster, after the 
rise of the General Assembly, an individual was appointed to 
read all recent enactments aloud in the hearing of the peo- 
ple, at the court-house or muster-grounds. Thirty years 
since, the late Col. F. A. Ramsey was often mentioned as 
** the man who read Sevier's laws to the militia of Franklin.'* 

If farther proof were wanting to show that the " .Consti- 
tation of the State of Frankland " was never adopted or 
acted under, the above act furnishes that proof irrefragably. 
That Constitution, as has been seen, provides for a single 
house, while this act is signed by the Speaker of the Senate, 
and by the Speaker of the Commons, and is also attested by 
the Clerk of the Senate, and by the Clerk of the Commons. 

After intelligence had reached the authorities of Georgia 
that the people of Franklin, of Cumberland and of Kentucky, 
were intending to emigrate to the Bend of Tennessee, another 
attempt was made to effect the settlement of Houston county. 
Got. Sevier was written to on the subject. His reply is dated : 

Gov. SxviER TO Gov. Telfair : 

State op Franklin, ) 

Washington County, 14th of May, 1786. J . 
Sir : — ^Being appointed one of * the Commissioners of Tennessee 
Kitrict, I beg leave to inform jour Honour that it appears impractica- 
Ue to proce^ on that business before the M season. 


The people here are apprehensive of an Indian war. 
daily committed in the vicinities of Kentucky and Cambeilaiid. OAb 
Donelson, Christian, and several other persona, were lately womided ad 
are since dead. 

The success of the Muscle Shoal enterprise, greatly dependa aajkk 
number that will go down to that place. A small force wiQ notk 
adequate to the risk and danger that is to be encoantered, and the pn* 
pie here will not venture to so dangerou^a place with a few* 

Your Honour will be pleased to be further informed, and, tbioai^ 
you, the difierent branches of your government, that no anbir adff» 
tage will be taken from this quarter ; no surveying will be attemplal 
until a force sufficient can be had, and timely notice given to tboM vfci 
may intend' to move down. The people in this quarter wiali to no- 
ceed in the fiill, but will wait your advice on this subject. Tour ttni- 
our may rest assured that I shall, with pleasure, &ci]itato everything ■ 
my power that may tend to the welfare of this ~ 

Gov. Telfair, replying to Sevier's letter of May 14^ iih 
formed him, Aug. 27, 1786, that the Legislature of Geoigia 
had postponed the consideration of the Tennessee Lud 
District ; that the Greek Indians had been committing ma^ 
ders and depredations on the frontier of Georgia ; that com- 
missioners had been appointed to negotiate terms of a peaces 
in failure of which, the state would, at once, carry on Tigor 
ous hostile operations against that tribe. It had been 8q|jt 
gested, continued Gov. Telfair, that the State of FranUm 
intended to march a body of men against the Creeks. ^F 
flatter myself it will be greatly to the success of both 
armies to begin their movements at one and the same time, 
should it become necessary. The flrst of November I sug- 
gest as the time for marching. On this subject I have to 
solicit your immediate answer and determination.** He also 
informs Gov. Sevier that Robert Dixon and Stephen Jett; 
Esquires, were appointed Commissioners on the part of 
Georgia, to confer with him on that subject. 

Not long after the date of this letter, to wit, Aug. 96^ 
178G, Governor Houston, of Georgia, commissioned Govermv 
Sevier, Brigadier-General for the District of TennessiSe. 
This brigade was formed for the defence of Georgia^ and 
for repelling any hostile invasion. 

Governor Sevier was not unwilling to accept this evidence 
of the confidence and friendship of the Governor and people 
of Georgia. He was sensible of the opposition Franklin 


had encountered, and the growing discontent and difficulty 
yet to be encountered from some in the new state, and from 
the government of North-Carolina. His Cherokee neigh- 
bours, and their allies, the Creeks, were ready, at any mo- 
ment, to take advantage of the necessities of the infant 
government, and to involve it in a general war. He took 
the precaution, therefore, to assure himself of the good feel- 
ing and co-operation of the Georgians, and to identify that 
people with his own in the common cause of self-defence 
and self-protection. With many of their leading men he 
had become acquainted, in his several campaigns to the 
Soathy during the Revolutionary war. Some of them were 
at his side on King's Mountain, and other battle grounds of 
that struggle. Some of them, at its close, had followed him 
to the West, and adhered to his fortunes in every vicissitude. 
The countrymen of Clarke, and Pickens, and Matthews, all 
knew his gallantry and were his steadfast friends. Of these, 
no one appreciated Governor Sevier more highly than a 
foreigner, Caesar Augustus George Elholm. He was a 
SDHMhflOMk^or Pola w de r, a member of Pulaski's Legion, and«l C^i'^^a^ 
was with that brave leader at the siege of Savannah. A 
feat performed, in part, by him, once considered fabulous, 
hat recently authenticated by I. K. TefTt, Esq., of Savannah, 
is here given in the words of that learned antiquarian and 
aoonrate historian : 

*^ While the allied army was engaged before Savannah, and while 
the nege was pending, Col. John White, of the Georgia line, conceived 
and executed an extraordinary enterprise. 

** Captain French, with one hundred and eleven British regulars, 
taken post on the Ogechee River, about twenty-five miles from 
XBavannah. At the same place lay five British vessels, of which four 
^^rere armed, the largest mounting fourteen guns and the smallest four. 
^}6L White having with him only Captain Csesar Augustus George 
^Bhoho, a sergeant and three men, on the night of the 1st of October, / 

^779, approached the encampment of French, kindled many fires, 
"^■vfaich were discernible at the British station, exhibiting from the man- 
gier of arranging them the plan of a camp. To this stratagem he 
kidded another. He and his comrades, imitating the manner of the 
rode with haste in various directions, giving orders in a loud voice, 
became satisfied that a large body of the enemy were upon hiro, 
on being summoned by White he surrendered his detachment, the 
of the five vessels, forty in number, and one hundred and thirty 



stand of arms. Having thus snooeeded, CoL White pretended that he 
must keep back his troops* lest their animosity should break out, and an in- 
discrimiDate slaughter take place, in defiance of his authority, and that| 
therefore, he wodd commit them to three guides, who would conduet 
them safely to ffood quarters. The deception was carried on with so 
much address, uat the whole of the British prisoneis were safely "oon- 
ducted by three of the captors for twenty-five miles through the oonntiT 
to the American post at Sunbury. One of these captors was 0. A. Q. 

Sachwas Major Elholm, who is now introduced to the 
reader, and wUl again be mentioned as bearing flirther part 
in the aflfairs of Franklin. 

When, in 1*786, it became necessary for the new state to 
strengthen the relations of friendship and good feeling witii 
other communities, Governor Sevier, through the Legislature 
of Franklin, professed a readiness to unite with Georgia^ 
and make conmion cause with that state in the proseentiiMi 
of the war against the Creeks, which seemed then inevitable. 
The management of this proposition, Sevier entrusted to 
Migor Elholm, whom he despatched to Augusta. Bearing 
widi him the strongest evidences of the Gbvemor^s confi- 
dence, and with ** sealed instructions'* in his possession, he 
waited upon the Executive of Georgia. In accordance with 
the main object of his mission, Elholm succeeded in procuring 
an embassy to accompany him on his return, to whose care 
was committed the charge of enlisting the Western people 
into an invasion of the Creek nation. An account of the re- 
ception of the embassy in Franklin, and the Major's con* 
jectures of its results, will be given in his own words. The 
reader will excuse the Major's Gallicisms. They are well 
atoned for by his ardour and enthusicusm. 

Major Elholm to Gov. Telfair : 

Governor Sbvier's, Franklin, September 30, 1986. 
Sir : — I does myself the honour to inform your Excellency, that your 
Commissioners set out from this the 28th inst, by the way of Kentodty 
and Cumberland. They were received very politely by his Excelleacy^ 
the Governor, from whose zeal for to assist you, aided by the inclination 
of the Franks, I am fully convinced your embassy will meet all wished 
success by the Assembly of this State, which is ordered to assemble 
12th next, by his Excellency's command, in consequence thereof! Seve- 
ral of the inhabitants have waited on the governor, for to be informed 
(rf the contents of the embassy from Georgia. And when being ao- 


quainted therewith, it gave me great pleasure to find no other apprehension 
appeared, but that of making peace with the Creeks without fighting, 
by which occasion they said so favourable a chance for humbling that 
nation would fall dormant. The. Governor, in order that the Americans 
may reap a benefit from the dread the Cherokces and Ghickasaws feels 
from the displeasure and power of the Franks, he has despatched letters 
to them, ofiTering them protection agatest the Creek nation, with condi- 
tion that they join him. 

Cumberland, it seems, has it at this time in contemplation to join in 
government with the Franks. If so, so much the better, and it would 
surely be their interest so to do, .as they are yet few in numbers, and 
often harassed by the Indians. 

Judging from apparent circumstances, you may promise youself one 
thousand riflemen and two hundred cav^dry, excellently mounted and 
accoutred, from this state, to act in conjunction with Georgia. 

** P. S. Governor Sener received letters from the pnncipal men in 
Cumberland, which inform him of a convention held lately at that place, 
when Commissioners were chosen by the people with power for to join 
inth the Franks in their government 

^Hr. John llpton's party, which is against the party of the new 
gOTemment, seems deep in decline at present, which proves very favour- 
able to the embassy from Georgia." 

Gov. SxvnER TO Gov. Telfair : 

Mount Pleasant, Franklin, 28th Sept., 1786. 

Toun of the . 2'7th August, I am honoured with. I consider myself 
mueh obOged with the information your Honour was pleased to give me 
ranwcttDg the manner and form you intend to conduct with the Creek 

You will please to be informed, that the deliberations of our Assembly 
have not, as yet, been fully had, respecting the marching a force against 
that nation of Indians. Our Assembly will be convened in a few days, 
at which time, I make notthe smallest doubt, but they will order out a 
respectable force to act in conjunction with the army of your state. The 
daterminationa of our Legislature I shall immediately communicate to«^ 
jour Honour, as soon as the same can be fiilly obtained. The move- 
ments to begin about the first November, I fear will be rather early for 
our army. Could the time be procrastinated a few- days, I hope it would 
not obstruct the success of the expedition. Shall be much obliged by 
being informed of the time of marching, should the same be found ne- 
ceesary. Also, as near as may be, of the time and place your army 
may be expected in the Creek country. 

Gov. Telfair replied, under date of 28th November, 1786, 
^'That Commissioners appointed to treat with the Creek na- 
tion have concluded a peace, on account of which every 
preparation for hostile operations are now suspended.^' The 
governor also expressed a hope that the peace might be 
lasting. This hope was doomed to be disappointed. 

364 ACTioir OF governor and council of OKomoiA. 

The ofier of assistance by the people of Franklin, made 
by Gov. Sevier, and his recommendation of Major Elholm, 
his ambassador, to the Governor and Council of Georgia, 

drew forth the following action : 


HousB OF AsBEMBLTy Sd Feb^ 1787. 

Mr. O^Brien, from the Committee to ^hom was referred the letts 
from John Sevier, Esq., brought in a report, which was agreed to^ and 
is as follows : 

That the letters from the said John Sevier, Esq., evince a disposilkm 
which ought not to be unregarded by this state, particularly in the in- 
tention of settlers in Nollicliucky, etc., to co-operate with us during the 
late alarm with the Indians, provided the necessity of the case required 
it ; they, therefore, recommend to the House, that his Honour, th 
(Governor, inform the Honourable John Sevier, Esq., of the sem 
this state entertains of their friendly intentions, to aid in the adjostmeBt 
of all matters in dispute between us and the hostile tribea of Creek h- 
dians that were opposed to this state. 

That in regard to Major Elholm, who has been so particularly reoom- 
mended, they cannot forbear mentioning him as a person entitled to the 
thanks and attention of the Legislature, and recommend that lus Hoa- 
our, the Grovemor, draw a warrant on the Treasury, in favour of Mijor 
{llholm, for the sum of fifty pounds. 

Subsequently, an act was passed by the Liegialatore of 
Georgia, authorizing the Governor and Executive Conncil to 
make an engagement with the people of Franklin to sup- 
press the hostilities of the Creek Indians. 

Gen. Clarke to Gov. Sevier : 

Augusta, Feb. 11th, 1787. 

Dear Sir : — I received your favour by Major Elholm, who informed 
me of your health. Assure yourself of my ardent friendship, and that 
you have the approbation of all our citizens, and their well wishes for 
your prosperity. We are sensible of what benefit the friendship of 
yourself and the people of your state will be to Georgia, and we hope 
you will never join North-Carolina more. Open a Land Office as speed- 
ily as possible, and it cannot fail but you will prosper as a people ; this 
is the opinion current among us. 

I have considered greatly on that part of your letter which alludes to 
politics in the Western country. It made me serious, and as seven 
states have agreed to give up the navigation, it is my friendly advice that 
you do watch with every possible attention, for fear that two more states 
should agree. I only obser\'e to you, that the Southern States will ever 
be your friends. 

It was reported that East and West Florida were ceded by the Span- 
iards to France, but it is not so. I know that you must have the navi* 
gation of the Mississippi. You have spirit and right ; it is almost every 
man's opinion that a rumour will rise in that countzy. I hope to ses 


that part myself yet. Adieu ; Heaven attend you and every friend, with 
my best respects. 

Governor Telfair also addressed him, under date — 

Augusta, Georgia, 13th February, 1*787. 
Sir ; .... I took the liberty, in my place, to lay your commuD^ca- 
tioDS before the legislature, with a few comments thereon. I am happy, 
sir, to inform you, they were received with that attention and respect 
doe to the friendly manner in which you were pleased to convey the aid 
|roa were authorized to afford the state, in case of active operations 
iwlBg found necessary to be carried on against the Creek Nation. 

Governor Sevier, writing to Governor Matthews, says, 
Diider date — 

Mount Pleasant, Franklin, 8d March, 1787. 

Sir: — Yours of 12th February, with the resolves of the Honourable 
dhe General Assembly therein enclosed, I had the honour to receive 
Mm Major Elholm. A principal chief of the Choctaws arrived here, 
fAo had come by way oi the Creek Nation, and was there informed, 
iiat nation intended hostilities against the State of Georgia early this 
Itting; — that they intended last summer to have given Georgia a home 
troke, had not a small party, contrary to their councils, committed hos- 
BitieB before the main body of the warriors was ready to go out 

Permit me, sir, to return you mj sincere thanks, and through you the 
Iber gentlemen of your state, for the great honour done me on the 
ifkli day of February last. 

The honour alluded to in this last paragraph by Gov. Se- 
der, was the recommendation of his election as an honorary 
Bember of the District Society of the Cincinnati. His cer- 
ifieate of membership is before the writer. In the report of 
lie Committee, appointed to ''investigate the merits of the 
[onourable Brigadier-General John Sevier," it is mentioned 
That he had a principal merit in the rapid and well con- 
ncted volunteer expedition, to attack Colonel Ferguson, at 
lin^s Mountain, and a great share in the honour of that 
■y, which is well known gave a favourable turn to our 
lo^nny and distressed situation, and that an opportunity 
ever yet appeared, but what confessed him an ardent friend 
.nd real gentleman.'^ 

H© is then recommended for, and received the appointment 
if a ** Brother Member of the Cincinnati," at Augusta, 12th 
«r*Pebruary, 1787. 

Mi^or Elholm had become, not less by his address than by 

lis enthusiasm, a favourite in Georgia. The Executive Coun- 


oil received him as a man of distinction, and invited him tD 
a seat with them, while the subject of his mission was mder 
consideration. There and elsewhere, he took every oppor- 
tunity to descant, in his fervid manner, and in the most glow- 
ing terms, upon the excellence and beauty of the country 
from which he came, and dwelt at length upon the prowes 
of the western people, and their devotion to liberty and in- 
dependence, and succeeded in creating an interest and enthu- 
siasm in their behalf. "Success to the State of Franklin, 
His Excellency Gov. Sevier, and his virtuous citixens^*' be- 
came a common toast 
Gen. Clarke continued his correspondence, under date— 

OxoBGiA, 22d May, 1787. 

Sir : .... Should any farther appeanmoe of war he app«PBDt|I 
shall take the earliest opportunitj of commtinicatinff it to yoo, with dw 
expectation of actiDfl: in confidence and concert with yonr state, in tki 
operations taken against the Creeks. 

I am very sorry to hear you have not peaceably established yov- 
•elves in the State of Franklin, and that the unhappy contention yet 
prevails between that and the State of North-Carolina, and more poti- 
eblarly when they think of reducing you by foroe of arms. Iliese idtm^ 
have not proceeded from any assurance from this state, as it js the fs- 
eeived opinion of the sensible part of every rank in Oeorjgia, that joc 
will, and ought to be, as independent as the other states in the Unioa. 

Other gentlemen of distinction and character in Geoi^'a, 
in like manner, held out to the Governor of Franklin assu- 
rances, not of good wishes only,^but of assistance. One of 
them writes, under date, 

WiLKBs County, Statb op Gxoroia, May 21, 1787. 
Wm. Downs to Gov, Sevier : 

^i>; .... We have various reports respecting the di^rent opi- 
nions of the politics of your state. I must inform you I have had, witlun 
these few months, the different opinions of a numher of the greatest poH- 
tidans in our state respecting yours, who give it as their opinion, *fc«t 
it will support itself without a doubt ; and, from what I can uudentaodi 
would give every assistance in their power. 

As a further means of adding to the strength of the new 
state, Governor Sevier and his Council asked the advice of 
Doctor Franklin. His reply is dated — 

Philadelphia, June 30, 1 787. 
Sir: — I am very sensible of the honour your Excellency and your 
Council have done me. But, being in Europe when your state wm 
fiirmed, I am too little acquainted with the drcumstances, to be aUe to 


ofo yon any thing, just now, that may be of importance, since every 
thing material, that regards your welfare, will, doubtless, have occurred 
to yourselves. There are two things which humanity induces me to 
wish you may succeed in : the accommodating your misunderstanding 
with the government of North -Carolina, and the avoiding an Indian 
war by preventing encroachments on their lands. Such encroachments * 
ana the more unjustifiable, as these people, in the fair way of purchase, 
nanaliy give very good bargains ; and, in one yearns war with them, you 
may suffer a loss of .property, and be put to an expense vastly exceed- 
lag in value what would have contented them, in fairly buying 
the lands they can spare. 

I will endeavour to inform myself more perfectly of your afi^irs, by 
inquiry, and searching the records of Congress ; and if any thing should 
oeear to me, that I think may be useful to you, you shall hear from me 
thereupon. I conclude with repeating my wish, that you may amicably 
wttle your difference with North-Carolina. The inconvenience to your \ 

M^^e, attending so remote a seat of government, and the difficulty to 
Imt government in ruling well so remote a people, would, I think, be 
lowerful inducements to it, to accede to any fair and reasonable propo- 
Mon it may receive from you, if the Cession act had now passed. 

The Doctor continued to address Gov. Sevier, in his official 
9i?pacity, as late as December of this year. 

Cren. Wm. Cocke, a Brigadier of the Franklin militia, and 
k member of the council of state, addressed Governor 
iCatthews the following, dated — 

Stats op Frankland,* ) 

MuLBERRT Grove, 25th June, 1787. J 
Sir : — When I take a view of the local and political situation of this 
[PHntryv I conceive the interests of your state, so far as respects Indian 
QBurs, almost inseparable with the safety and happiness of this country ; 
ad on hearing that the Creek Indians have committed hostilities in 
l^orgia, I have endeavoured to consult with my friends here, on the 
■Meet of lending you any assistance in our power, provided you should 
tand in need of such assistance ; and I am certain every thing to serve 
oar state or its interests, will be done by the people of Franklin, that 
tiey could, with reason, be expected to do. I imagine General Kennedy 
ill be able to raise a thousand or fifteen hundred men, as volunteers, 

*It it worthy of remark, that this letter is dated, " SUte of Frankland.*' This 
<xily instance, as this annalist a^ers, in the whole list of letters and other 
which he has had such ample ot>portQnity to read and examine in the 
>n of these sheets, in whidi the name of the new state is not spelled 
PVwUhi.'' In the Convention, Gen. Cocke had been in favour of the (rejected) 
Constitntioo of the State of FVankland," and may be supposed to have retained 
MBi a feeling of paternity, the name first intended for his bantling. It is ob.' 
lUe, however, that in the body of hb letter, he gitet the proper orthography 


886 ns pBocBBBoros ui washutotoii uoumti 

and I think I can raise a like nnmber. • An army of tWo or Aim tkn- 
aand, will be quite sufficient to march through any of the towna thatu 
should have to pass through. I hope the Indians hftTe not beean 
Bucbessful in your state as £e Cherokees report ; the aooooiilB from An 
nation are that the Greeks have killed twenty-five fkiniliea, without the 
loss of a man. I have ordered the different cokmeb under my eo» 
mand, to hold their men in readiness, and on being well iinred of dn 
Indians attacking your state, we shall mard^ into their towoBy ao sooi 
as we shall be requested by you. But lest the United States Bii|^ 
think us forward, we shall remain in readiness^ until we ere celled for bj 
the State of Georgia or until hostilities are committed in onr stele. 

Propositions to assist in the conqoest of the Creek natiot 
were also made to Gov. Sevier, by the King, Chiefs and Lead- 
ers of the Chickasaws. 

The proffered aaxiliaries from the Chickaaanv'fl^ the r^ 
peated assurances of co-operation from Georgia, and the ei- 
pected assistance from Virginia and Camberland^ atimiilated 
both the authorities and people of Franklin to undertake ths 
subjugation of the Greeks. Another consideration in favmir 
of that policy, exerted at this moment a powerful inflaeneenp* 
on the mind of Governor Sevier. Some of the causes for sepa- 
rating the western counties from the parent state, had either 
ceased to exist, or operated now, upon the minds of the p«h 
pie with less intensity, and it was very evident that a very 
formidable party in Franklin was now opposed to a further 
continuance of the new government. 

In Washington county, this opposition had become most 
apparent. The magistrates appointed by the authorities of 
North-Carolina, met at the bouse of William Davis, some dis- 
tance from the seat of justice, and organized a court, when 
the following proceedings took place : 


l^S?. — FebruaiT Term, met at the house of William Davisj 

Present, John McMahon, James Stuart, and Robert Allison. 

George Mitchell was elected Sheriff pro. tem., and John Tipton was 
elected Clerk pro. tern.,, and Thomas Gomly, Deputy Clerk. 

Feb. 6. The gentlemen on the Dedimus, appointed justicea of the 
peace for said county, are as follows : John Tipton, Loindon Caiter, Bo- 
bert Love, James Montgomery, John Hamer, John Wyer, John Strain, 
Andrew Chamberlain, Andrew Taylor, Alex. Moffett, William PuEiky, 
Edroond Williams, and Henry Nelson. 

John Tipton presented commission as Colonel of the ooimtyy and 
Robert Love as Major, and were qualified. 


The next Quarterly Term of this Court was held at the same place. 

At May Term, Tuesday 8th, the Court elected John Pugh Sheriff 
Alexander MofRstt, Coroner, and Elijah Cooper, Stray-master. 

Ordered by the Courts That the Sheriff of this county demabd the 
public records from John Sevier, formerly Clerk of this county. 

Ordered^ That the Sheriff notify Wm. McNabb to appear before the 
next County Court, with all the records as former Ranger. 

Ordered^ That the Sheriff demand the key of the County Jail at 
Jonesboro, from the former Sheriff of this county. 

In other counties, the authority of Franklin was so far 
extinct, that of North-Carolina so fully recognized, that elec- 
tions were not held for the Greeeneville Assembly, but repre- 
sentatives were regularly chosen for the legislature of the old 
state, to meet at Tarborough, on the 1 8th November. Of 
those thus elected, several had been the early and steadfast 
friends of separation and independence, and had been the 
jniDcipal functionaries of the new commonwealth. Even 
Greene county, which had refused to allow commissions 
emanating from the old dynasty, to be accepted and acted 
under, within its boundaries, had partaken of the general 
defection, and had elected to the Assembly at Tarborough, 
David Campbell, the presiding Judge upon the Franklin 
Bench, as Senator ; and Daniel Kennedy, one of the FranK- 
Hli, brigadiers, and James Reese, Esq., once a member of its 
lepslature, to the House of Commons. 

Washington county, in like manner, was represented by 
Tohn Tipton, James Stuart^ and John Blair ; all of whom had 
been the first to propose, and the most active in carrying 
Ato effect, the insurrectionary movement. • Sullivan county 
lad chosen Joseph Martin, John Scott, and George Maxwell ; 
ind Hawkins county, Nathaniel Henderson and William 
Iftarsball; all original supporters of Franklin, and advocates 
»f separation. Sevier and Caswell counties alone main- 
tained their allegiance to tte^ew state, and adhered to Gov. 
Sevier and his fortunes ; and even in these, there were not 


wanting men whose position was equivocal, and who hesi- 
tated not to dissuade from further resistance to the current 
li4iich now set so strongly in favour of the mother state. 
Harassed by the difficulties that surrounded his official posi- 
tioD, and perplexed by the duties and responsibilities devolv- 

aOO BBViBE nnriTW thb msdiatiok or osasaiA. 

ing on him as a patriot, Governor Sevier inatitatad afinAtt 
embassy to the State of Georgia, with the hope of extiiea* 
ting himself and his government from surrounding enibam» 
ments. As a dernier resort, he invited the medmtion o( 
Greorgia between North-Carolina and Franklin ; and ad- 
dressed to Governor Matthews the following commau- 
cation : 

Frankuv, 24th June* 1787. 

Sir : — The Honourable Major Elholm waits upon your Aaaemblj, it 
character of CommissioDer from thn State, with plenajy powen. 

The party in opposition to our new ^public, althoogh few and ii- 
considerable, yet, by their coutention aqd disorder, they occaaion mack 
uneasiness to peaceable minds. We are friendly citizena of the Ameri- 
can Union, and the real desire we have for its welfare, opulence, aid 
splendour, makes us unwilling and exceedingly sorry to think, that aof 
nolent measures should be made use of, against the adherenta of any of 
our sister states ; especially the one that gave us existence, though now 
wishing to annihilate us. And what occasions in us excmdatit^ pain i^ 
that perhaps we may be drii-ento the necessity, unparalleled and nnas- 
ampled, or defending our rights and liberties against thoae, who ntAkng 
since, we have fought, bled and toiled together with, in the oommoa 
cause of American Inde|>endenoe, or otherwise become the ridienlo cf 
a whole world. This I hope, however, Qod will avert ; and that a la- 
nnion will take place on honourable, just, and equitable princijpki^ la- 
cq>rocally so to each f>arty, is our sincere and ardent wish. 

When wo remember the bloody engagements in which we hava 
fought together against the common enemy, the friendly, timely and 
mutual supports afforded between the State of C^rgia and the people 
of this country, it emboldens us to solicit you, sir, and through yon the 
dififerent branches of your govemmeiit, that you will be g^cioosly 
pleased to afford to the State of Franklin such of your countenance 'as ^ 
you may, from your wisdom and uprightness, think, from the nature of 
our cause, we may deserve,— in promoting the interest of our infiint 
republic, reconciling matters between us and tlie parent state, in such 
manner as you, in your magnanimity and justice, may think moat expe- 
dient, and the nature of our cause may dcHcrve. 

Permit us to inform you that it is not the sword that can intimidate 
us. The rectitude o%Dur cause, our local situation, together with the 
spirit and enterprise of our countryjnen in such a cause, would inflama 
us with confidence and hopes of success. But when we reflect and call 
to mind the great number of internal and external enemies to American 
Independence, it makes us shudder at the very idea of such an incurahla 
evil, not knowing where the disorder might lead, or what part of tha 
body politic the ulcer might at last infect. 

The nature of our cause we presume your Excellency to be sufficient- 
ly acquainted with. Only, we beg leave to refer you to tlie Cession act 
of North-Carolina, also the constitution of that govemment, wherein it 


meDtioiis that there may be a state or states erected in the West^ when- 
ever the legislature shall give its consent for the same. 

We cannot forbear mentioning, that we regard the parent state with 
paitioular affection, and will always feel an interest in whatever may 
«Mie«m her honour and prosperity, as independent of each other. 

For further information, I beg leave to refer you to Honourable Ma- 
jor Elholm. 

Accompanying this communication, was one addressed to 
the Speaker of the Georgia Assembly, dated — 

Franklin, 24th June, 1787. 
/ Sir : — At the request of a number of respectable inhabitants of Vir- 
giiiia, North-Carolina and Franklin, I am induced to write your honour- 
mUe body, respecting the Tennessee lands, informing you that there is a 
hkrge number of the aforemenlioned people who, for some time past, 
have been at considerable expense, in order to equip themselves to be- 
eome residents in that quarter, who have been led to behcve, from the 
tenor of your resolves, and the conduct of the Commissioners appointed 
fcr that business, that they, the people, might, with great propriety,' ex- 
pect to become immediate settlers. 

Permit me to inform your honourable body that we have every rea- 
■on to believe, that the making the aforesaid settlements would be of in- 
jBoite advantage to your state, and of much utility to the adventurers ; 
tod further, were that place inhabited, from the great advantages it 
would be to this state, I am confident that Franklin would give every 
neoeisary support to the inhabitants, that might be wanting to protect 
them from the ravages and depredations of any of the hostile tribes of 
fiyliMng^ which will, in a great measure, be effected, by erecting some 
garrisons on the frontier of our state, which we have lately resolved to 
3ow We submit it to your wiser consideration, and myself, as one of 

Jour Commissioners, shall be happy in rendering every exertion that the 
nty of my office may require, in compliance with your determinations, 

Sevier continued his efforts in behalf of his tottering go- 
iremment, and under date 6th July, 1787, says to General 
Kennedy : 

JD^ar General :—l met with the Old State party on the 27th last 
month ; Tew of our side met, not having notice. I found them much more 
aompliable than I could have expected, except a few. I have agreed to 
ft. second conference, which is to be held at Jqnesboro^ the last day of 
thie month. You will please to give notice, to all those appointed by the 
lonvention, that may be within yoiir district, to be punctual in attending 
■fc the time and place. I shall earnestly, look for you there, and as many 
3Clier of our friends as can possibly attend, and I flatter myself somo- 
diiDg for the good of the public may be effected. 

* In the ** Columbian Magazine," for November, 1787, is 
Found the following extract of a letter from General Cocke 
be Migor Elholm, at Augusta, Georgia. 

S98 GovsBiroR iiviie to ooyniroR vatthswv. 

MnumiRT Groyb, Statr ov Frakkuit^ ) 

AoguBt 27, 1787. f 
GoL Tipton the other day appeared with a party of about fifty meUf 
of Bticfa as be could raise, under a pretence of redressing a quarrel that 
bad arisen between our sheriff and the sheriff of North'<Sux>hDa, tboush 
their prindpal view was, to put themselves in possession of our records. 
This conduct produced a rapid report, that they had made a prisoner 
of his Excellency, to carry him to North-Carolina, which caused two 
hundred men to repur immediately to the house of Col. Tipton, before 
they became sensible of the mistake, and it was only through the influence 
of his Excellency^ that the opposite party did not fall a sacrifice to our 
Franks. During this time, a body of about fifteen hundred veterans, 
embodied themselves to rescue their governor (as they thought) out of 
the hands of the North-Carolinians, and bring him back to the moun- 
tains — an instance that proves our citizens to have too noble a spirit to 
yield to slavery or to relish a national insult 

Continuing his correspondence with Governor Matthew^ 
Governor Sevier writes : 

Mount Plxabant, Franklin, dOth August, 1787. 

Sir : — I had the honour to receive your favour of the 9th inst, by 
{he express. You are pleased to mention, that you are of opinion thiSt 
your Assembly will be favourably disposed towards this state. TliA 
measures entered into by your Executive, relating to our business, we 
are very sensible of, and the honour you thereby <k> us. 

I have enclosed your Excellency copi^ of two letters from Colonek 
Robertsoil and Bledsoe, of Cumberland, wherein you will be informed 
of the many murders and ravages committed in that country by the 
Creeks. It is our duty and highly requisite in my opinion, that suck 
lawless tribes be reduced to reason by dint of the sword. 

I am very sensible, that few of our governments are in a fit capacity 
for such an undertaking, and perha()s ours far less so than any other ; 
but, nevertheless, be assured, that we will encounter every difficulty to 
raise a formidable force to act in conjunction with the army of your state 
in case of a campaign. 

We have lately received accounts from some gentlemen in Virginia, 
who generously propose to send a number of volunteers to our assistance. 
We snail cultivate their friendship, and I make no doubt but a conside^ 
able number may be easily raised in that quarter. 

Our Assembly sat but a few days. The only business of importance 
done, was the making a provision for the defence of our frontier, by 
raising four hundred men, which is nearly completed. They are to be 
stationed in the vicinity of Chickamauga, and in case of actual operations 
against the Creeks this number will bo ready. 

Our Assembly is to meet on the I7th of next month, at which time 
I shall do myself the honour of laying your despatches before that hon- 
ourable body, who, I am happy to inform you, will be favourably disposed 
to render your state every assistance in their power, by making such ar 
Tangements as may be judged adequate to the business. Their de 


emuDations on this subject will be immediately oommunicated to your 
lonour, SO soon as the same can be had and fullv obtained. 

The letter above referred to from Col. Robertson, bears 


Nashville, Aug. Ist, 1787. 

Sir : — ^By accounts from the Chickasaws, we are informed that at a 
haxtd Council held by the Creeks, it was determined, by that whole 
istioo, to do their utmost this fall to cut off this country, and we expect 
he Cherokees have joined them, as they were to have come in, some 
Ime ago, to make peace, which they have not done. Every circumstance 
eems to confirm this. The 5th day of July, a party of Creeks killed 
^tain Davenport, agent for Georgia, and three men in the Chickasaw 
atioD — wounded three and took one prisoner, which the Chickasaws 
re not able to resent for want of ammunition. 

The people are drawing together in large stations, and doing every 
bing necessary for their defence ; but, I fear, without some timely as- 
stance, we shall chiefly fall a sacrifice. Ammunition is very scarce, 
nd a Chickasaw, now here, tells us, they imagine they will reduce our 
tation by killing all our cattle, etc., and starving us out. We expect, 
iom every account, they are now on their way to this country, to the 
umber of a thousand. I beg of you to use your influence in that 
yatitry to relieve us, which, I think, might be done by fixing a station 
mr the mouth of Elk, if possible, or by marching a body of men into 
Id Cherokee country, or in any manner you may judge beneficial. We 
ope our brethren in that country will not suffer us to be massacred by 
le savages, without giving us any assistance, and I candidly assure you 
lat never was there a time in which I imagined ourselves